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Protest in Siliguri against formation of a separate Gorkhaland

By Abdul Nisar

Siliguri (West Bengal), Sep 7 (ANI): The Bangla-O-Bangla Bhasha Bachao Committee (BOBBBC), a regional non-political outfit, observed a 24-hour strike here on Tuesday to protest against the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The activists held the strike ahead of the eighth round of tripartite talks, to be held in New Delhi today.

The BOBBBC strongly opposed any type of talks that promote or encourage the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

"Today, Bangla-O-Bangla Bhasha Bachao Committee (BOBBBC) have called a 24-hours Bangla bandh (shutdown), which have been supported spontaneously by the people of Bengal," said BOBBBC President Mukunda Majumder.

"The purpose of this strike was to protest against the illegal granting of extraordinary power to the interim setup, which is nothing but Gorkhaland. We strongly oppose this move for Gorkhaland, that is why we call this strike," he added.

The BOBBBC activists chanted anti-Gorkhaland and anti-tripartite meet slogans and burned effigies of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh.

The activists also demanded the immediate resignation of Jaswant Singh and fresh elections in the State's Darjeeling district.

Marketplaces, business establishments, educational institutions and private offices remained closed as only some private vehicles were seen plying through deserted roads. delegation of seven members led by GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri is in New Delhi to attend the eighth round of tripartite meeting with officials of the Centre and the West Bengal Government.

Earlier on April 9, GJM chief Bimal Gurung met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi, who assured him that he would talk to the Government of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress about the new territory.

The GJM had agreed during the fifth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi to the constitution of Interim Council by next year prior to the creation of a separate state.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalese, have been demanding a separate state in Darjeeling hills, to help them protect their culture and heritage. (ANI)

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