Anit Thapa leads peaceful protest rally in Kurseong
Darjeeling: Amidst speculation of trouble between pro-bandh and anti-bandh factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the rally led by Anit Thapa in Kurseong on Monday concluded peacefully. However, Thapa did not attempt to open up shops and business establishments.
Thapa along with GJM Chief Coordinator Binay Tamang had been removed from the party for allegedly declaring the lifting of the ongoing indefinite bandh from September 1 to 12 without consulting GJM president Bimal Gurung.
A split in the GJM came to the fore with the Bimal Gurung faction imposing the bandh and the Binay Tamang faction against the bandh. The bandh hit the 83rd day mark on Tuesday. On Sunday, Tamang had stated that on the heels of opening up of Panighata, Kurseong would open up followed by Kalimpong and Darjeeling. Anit Thapa on Sunday announced that he would bring out a rally in Kurseong town on Monday.
Residents of Kurseong anticipated trouble speculating that Thapa would forcibly open up shops and business establishments on Monday. At around 9.30 am, the rally commenced from Giddey Mandir area around 3 km away from Kurseong town. Just when the rally was entering town a group of people joined in from Dhobikhola shouting "Jai Bimal, Jai Bimal. Anit-Bimal bhai bhai."
Thapa addressing the gathering clarified: "This rally is not top force people to open up. I am for Gorkhaland but for a democratic agitation. The bandh has yielded no result. I will soon sit with shop keepers, education institutes, taxi syndicates and the public and ask their views on the bandh. According to the public sentiment and the wishes of the public we will act."
Thapa stated that he does not believe in guns and explosions. "Nothing can be achieved by violence. Finally, all problems need to be resolved through dialogue. When we stated this, some people had problems. They expelled us without a show-cause. However, we will continue in this party as we had toiled relentlessly to float the party. We will continue our agitation for Gorkhaland from the TMC," added Thapa. Thapa stated that he will be attending the next round of talks with the state on August 12, if invited. He stated that they would urge the state government to call for tripartite talks.
Meanwhile, Binay Tamang will be holding a candlelight peace rally from the Darjeeling Chowrasta on Wednesday at 5 pm. Meanwhile, an IED was lobbed at the residence of Prithvi Raj Sunwar late on Sunday night. Sunwar is the father in law of Poonam Biswa, the TMC Councilor for Ward 2 of the Mirik Municipality. The socket bomb failed to explode. A large police team along with the bomb squad arrived and defused the bomb.