Darjeeling: Bandh to continue during CM's visit

Darjeeling, Aug 30 : The Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) on Friday announced relaxation of bandh on Saturday and resume the 'Gharer Bithor Janta' from Sunday in a bid to frustrate official visit of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee next week.

Leaders of the eight political parties under the banner of the GJAC after meeting at Singhmari told reporters that their movement for Gorkhaland would continue.

This meant that an appeal made by the Chief Minister on Thursday to call off strike and join for developmental work in Darjeeling went unheeded.

Banerjee had said that she would visit Darjeeling on Sept 2 and address a meeting of the Lepcha Association in Kalimpong on the following day.

The GJAC also said they would meet again on Sunday to decide whether the educational institutions would be exempted from strikes. The political parties have come under
tremendous criticism from various quarters for involving the children and students in the agitation.

Sources said that the one-day relaxation was given to allow the people to buy and store rations and essentials for local people for bigger movement .

Meanwhile, the gorkha activists on Friday sold some 40 quintal of rice from Gymkhana Hall where a large number of people stood on queue for hours.

On the other hand, efforts from Darjeeling district administration to distribute rice from various points evoked no response due to diktat of the Gorkha activists.

Darjeeling hills have been witnessing strikes for past month since July 29 after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government announced creation of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh.

--IBNS (Posted on 30-08-2013)

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