No respite from the ongoing indefinite bandh in the Hills

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Darjeeling, July 6, 2017: The meeting of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GLMCC) has resolved to continue with the ongoing indefinite bandh in the Hills of North Bengal.

Coordination committee leaders addressing the press

The GLMC, a conglomeration of pro-Gorkhaland forces, was formed with the objective of spearheading a joint movement for Gorkhaland. The committee met in the Hostel of St. George School in Pedong, 22 km from Kalimpoing town on Thursday.

"We have decided to continue with the ongoing bandh for Gorkhaland" stated Kalyan Dewan, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader who heads the committee. The hills are in the grip of an indefinite bandh since June 15. The bandh was called by the GJM.

The committee resolved to extend the Gorkhaland movement to Terai and Dooars regions of the plains (comprising of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts contiguous to the Darjeeling district.) "We will involve non-Gorkha communities for our movement in the plains" added Dewan.

Data and Research Cell; Legal Cell and Human Rights Cell have been constituted by the coordination committee. "The cells will look into different aspects including taking legal recourse relating to police excess and human rights violation by the State Government" stated Binay Tamang, Assistant General Secretary, GJM.

"The district administration and police are stopping food supplies, ration and even baby food from reaching the Hills from the plains. In case of any deaths owing to lack of food it will be the State Government will have to take responsibility" stated Tamang.

The coordination committee stated that the proposed Gorkhaland map will include Terai and Dooars along with the Hills. The next meeting for the committee will take place on July 18. In case there is offer for dialogues by the Centre the coordination committee representatives will attend.

Meanwhile Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim has threatened to approach the Apex Court stating that the state of Sikkim has lost Rs. 60 thousand Crores in the past 30 years owing to unrest in the Hills of Bengal in the form of blockade of the NH10 which is the lifeline of Sikkim.

Addressing a function in Namchi in Sikkim, Chamling stated "The State of Sikkim did not merge with India just to be sandwiched between China and West Bengal. There is a standoff in Nathula between China and India. Down in the plains of Siliguri, Sikkim vehicles are being vandalized, our people are being harassed and they are stopping goods including essential commodities from being brought to Sikkim. I am in touch with the Union Government over this issue and am contemplating filing a case in the Supreme Court."

Chamling recently had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in support of the demand of Gorkhaland. In 2011 the Sikkim Assembly had also passed a resolution in favour of Gorkhaland.

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