72-hr bandh in Hills cripples normal life

The 72-hour bandh crippled normal life in the Hills, dealing a major blow to Mamata Banerjee’s Darjeeling success story.
The bandh was near total in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong. That the bandh may not remain peaceful became evident when GJM supporters allegedly torched a motorcycle and a car at Rambi on the National Highway 31, which connects Sikkim with West Bengal. Many GJM supporters were arrested.
GJM chief Bimal Gurung threatened that if his demand for Gorkhaland was not accepted then the bandh would be extended for indefinite period. Mr Gurung said that if the UPA government at the Centre would agree to the carving of a separate Telengana state out of Andhra Pradesh, then it should have no objection to the Gorkha homeland demand. “Our demand for Gorkhaland is older than the demand for Telengana. If the Centre announces a Telengana state then it should also declare a Gorkhaland state,” he added.
Ms Banerjee proudly flaunts peace in the Hills and the Jangalmahal as her government’s two spectacular achievements. In July 2011, a tripartite agreement was signed between the state government, Centre and GJM which led to the formation of Gorkha Territorial Administration which runs Darjeeling hills. Ms Banerjee thought she had bought peace in the hills by offering autonomy to GJM. However, Mr Gurung on Monday made it clear that he would resign as chief executive of the GTA in a few days. He alleged that Mamata Banerjee government had not extended cooperation to the GJM and GTA.

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CM changes plan to quit
age Correspondent
Hyderabad, July 29

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has changed his decision to resign in protest of division of the state. On the advice of AICC leaders close to him and some well-wishers, the CM has decided to stay till the last minute. Earlier the CM had decided to tender his resignation immediately after the high command announces its decision in favour of Telangana state. CM had informed Seeman-dhra ministers and leaders who met him in the last three days about his resignation indirectly, stating that he will not be a party to the division of the state.

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