Darjeeling: Para-military forces deployed
Ten companies of para-military forces were deployed from Saturday as the West Bengal government intensified monitoring of Darjeeling agitation after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung announced that the Gorkhaland stir will be fought by the newly formed Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC).
Finding pressure from various quarters, including the court of laws and daily bread earners in the hills over the frequent strikes, the GJM after chairing the second all-party meeting here on Friday formed the GJAC and delegated power to it to carry forward the statehood movement.
Darjeeling district magistrate Punit Yadav said they have been watching the progress after the GJAC called "Gharer Bithore Janata" agitation, which urges people in the hills to remain indoor for five days from Aug 19-23.
Yadav said they have been keeping a close watch on the movement and report to the higher authorities.
The GJM after being criticized by the Calcutta High Court this week for spearheading the indefinite strike and subsequent Janata curfew from July 29 now
delegated power to the GJAC, the local political observers felt.
The GJAC is headed by Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan as chairmanship, who is leader of Gorkha Task Force (GTF) .
Asked whether the new method of bandh would not invite the wrath of the high court Dr Pradhan said: "Let Calcutta High Court decide."
Meanwhile, ten companies of para-military forces were being deployed from Saturday in preparation of five days' fresh bandh in the hills beginning on Aug 19.
SDPO/ Kurseong, Nima Norbu Bhutia said in addition to existing five companies of CRPF already deployed, the reinforcement was being deployed to face
Meanwhile, the GTA sabha meeting which was supposed to be held on Friday to select the new chief executive has been deferred.
GTA principal secretary R D Meena, said, "The election for the new GTA chief executive will be held according to the procedures laid in the GTA Act. The date will be decided after consultation with the state government."
Pradip Pradhan, the chairman of the GTA, said that as per the GTA Act, the election would be held on the receipt of 10- days' notice issued by the principal secretary.
In another development, academician Mahendra P. Lama, the pro-vice chancellor of Indira Gandhi Open National University, who earlier announced his decision to contest the Lok Sabha election from the Darjeeling constituency, said in a public meeting on Friday that politics of general strike would not help solve hill's problems.
He was the first in the hill to say against the strike.
A Siliguri report said that police and the political parties have been alerted against the the 24-hour Bengal strike called by the Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Bacaho Committee on Aug 19 against the "division" of the state and scrapping of the GTA Act.
(Posted on 18-08-2013)