Darjeeling Hills closed: Gurung vows to restrict movement of cats, dogs too
Darjeeling, September 1, 2017: With Bimal Gurung asking his supporters to impose the bandh stringently so that even dogs and cats cannot move about freely, Darjeeling Hills failed to open up on Friday. GJM leaders claimed that a female agitator died allegedly in a police lathicharge in Darjeeling town on Thursday night. Situation has turned highly volatile in the Hills.
Bimal Gurung's supporters took out rallies in the Hills at night shouting slogans against GJM leaders Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa. GJM leaders alleged that at the time of one such rally in Chowk Bazar on Thursday night, police resorted to baton charge in which one Romala Rai received head injuries and later died.
Rai in her 40s was a resident of TV Tower area Darjeeling. Police have refuted this allegation stating that there was a stampede and Rai had fallen and received head injuries.
From early in the morning picketers took to the street. Shops, business establishment, offices continued remaining closed. Vehicles remained off the road. Even milk vans were not visible on the roads.
There is a huge police presence throughout the Hills. "We are keeping a close tab on the situation" stated a police top brass.
GJM leader Binay Tamang who had led the GJM team to Kolkata for the meeting with the State Government on the Darjeeling impasse on 29th August had returned to the Hills on Thursday. On arrival at Kurseong Tamang addressed a rally.
The rally was followed by a GJM Central Committee meeting with around 30 members attending. At the end of the meeting Tamang announced that the GJM Central Committee has resolved to lift the ongoing indefinite bandh from September 1 to September 12, the day of the next round of talks with the State Government at Uttarkanya, the mini Secretariat in the Jalpaiguri district of North Bengal.
"We will raise the issue of Gorkhaland in the meeting on September 12. If the outcome is not favourable we will decide on the next course of action to create pressure on the Government" Tamang who is the Chief Coordinator GJM had stated on Thursday.
Soon after Tamang's announcement GJM President Bimal Gurung alleged that the Kurseong rally and meeting were held without his consent. He stated that the ongoing bandh would be imposed more stringently from Friday.
A GJM Central Committee meeting under the Chairmanship of Gurung will be held on Friday that oust Gurung and Thapa from the party. Tamang has already been removed from the post of Chief Coordinator, GJM added General Secretary Roshan Giri.
Gurung in a video clip from an undisclosed location alleged that Tamang and Thapa had colluded with the West Bengal Government to derail the Gorkhaland agitation. "I have proof of their treachery. They have shaken hands with the administration and police to frame us. They thought that with me having gone underground I will not be able to impose the bandh. They went to Nabannya and sat in a meeting with the Chief Minister without consulting me. No matter how long I go underground or live in the forests they have to talk to me, sit across the table with me in order to resolve the impasse. I request the people to impose the bandh so stringently that even dogs and cats cannot move about freely." claimed Gurung.