Darjeeling gears up for another round of stir

After a brief three days’ respite, the hills are again geared up for another round of agitation. On Sunday, Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee, formed by eight political parties, announced fresh protest programmes for their demand of a separate Gorkhaland. However, the committee made changes in their programmes and announced that the proposed ‘people’s curfew’ from August 19 to 23 has been restricted to only one day on August 19.

At Sunday’s all-party meeting which was held at Singmari in Darjeeling, the committee decided to hold Ghorer Bhitore Janata on August 19 and Rastar Upor Janata from August 20 to 23.
After observing a day being confined to their houses, the people will protest at the streets by taking out processions and rallies. The committee further informed that on August 24 and 25, the people of hills and the activists of the Gorkhaland movement would hold torch rallies.
The eight agitating parties on Friday had organised a joint meeting at Gymkhana in Darjeeling and had formed the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee to intensify the ongoing protests. The committee members also said that the people of hills would fax their demand to the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee on August 27.
Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee expressed deep concern over the Gorkhaland issue and stressed on the need to hold an all-party meeting to resolve it.
“It seems we are getting better at breaking things. Are we heading towards breaking the country into bits and pieces? It is a matter of concern and there should be a concerted effort by all political parties to sit together and resolve the issue,” Mr Chatterjee said on the sidelines of an event.
On Sunday, north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb visited Kalimpong to chair a meeting of the Lepcha Welfare Committee. He reportedly told the gathering that the government of West Bengal was doing its best for development of the people of hills.

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