Strike to be lifted till next round of talks with Bengal govt: Tamang
Kurseong: With the Chief Coordinator of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Binay Tamang announcing a withdrawal of the ongoing indefinite bandh from September 1 and GJM president Bimal Gurung stating that the bandh will be stringently imposed, the Hills are in the grip of uncertainty with chances of clashes between the two factions.
Following Tamang's announcement, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri stated that Tamang has been removed from the post of Chief Coordinator and the GJM Central Committee will meet in the Hills on Friday.
"The decision to expel Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa will be taken in the Central Committee meeting," stated Giri.
The day saw Binay Tamang and GJM Central Committee member Anit Thapa return from Kolkata after attending the meeting at Nabanna on August 29. In Kurseong, Tamang addressed a rally following which a GJM Central Committee meeting was held.
"The ongoing indefinite bandh is being lifted from September 1 to September 12. On September 12, there is another round of talks with the state government. We will again press for Gorkhaland. If there is no positive response then we will decide the future course of action to be taken from September 13. It could be a bandh or any other form of agitation to create pressure on the government," stated Tamang.
He further stated that the bandh had reached 80 days and the Hill residents were under immense pressure. "There is dearth of food. Education institutions are closed. Situation in the shut tea gardens are pathetic. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had requested us to lift the ongoing fast unto death and the indefinite bandh during a meeting in Delhi on August 13. Again, in the Kolkata meeting on August 20, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested us to lift the bandh in order to restore normalcy and peace," added Tamang.
The Chief Coordinator stated that out of the 93-member Central Committee, around 30 members had attended Thursday's meeting. "It is an emergent meeting and they were the leaders available. Many leaders have gone into hiding with police cases against them. We will communicate the decision of this meeting to GJM president Bimal Gurung."
Soon after Tamang's announcement, Bimal Gurung talking to media persons over phone from an undisclosed location stated: "The bandh will be imposed stringently from Friday. Binay Tamang and Anish Thapa have betrayed us. They have sided with the government. They have not taken my consent to hold the Central Committee meeting. They are trying to cut me off from my party. If there is any unrest in the Hills from Friday, Tamang and Thapa will be to blame.
Meanwhile, reacting on the decision to withdraw the bandh in Darjeeling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: "It is good news. Let peace get restored in the Hills and let people lead a peaceful life."