Featured Image: An anti-bandh Trinamool rally led by tourism minister Gautam Deb at Kalimpong on Tuesday.
By Our Newsmen
Siliguri / Kolkata, 27 September: WITH the state government going all out to foil tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Darjeeling Hills bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the party has taken refuge to the Gorkha community sentiment to save its prestige in the hill politics.
GJM has called the 12-hour bandh from 06 am tomorrow demanding that the state government must provide breakup and documentary evidence in favour of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) had been allocated Rs 4,000 crore funds in the past four-and-a-half year.
GTA is an autonomous body meant to govern the Darjeeling Hills, and it is now under the control of the GJM.
Issuing a Press statement today afternoon, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri has accused the Trinamool led state government of taking to dictatorship by issuing circular wherein government employees have been barred from taking any sort of leave from 27-29 September unless there is a medical emergency or bereavement in the family.
In another circular, businesses and transports in the Hills have been asked function during the bandh hours tomorrow, failing which actions have been warned of under essential services act. Any bandh related damage to shops or vehicles will be compensated by the state government.
“Trinamool hardly has 10 per cent support base in the Hills and yet it is showing such dictatorial strains. People of the Hills must consider what Trinamool would do if their strength rises to 20-30 per cent…If we give in, a day will come when we will be put behind the bars for even the scribbling the word Gorkhaland,” GJM has said in its statement urging people to make the bandh a success and send the right message to the state, Centre, and the Trinamool.
The statement came on a day Trinamool and the Jan Andolan Party took out rallies against the bandh in Kalimpong and Kurseong. At Kalimpong, the rally was led by state tourism minister Gautam Deb.
During the bandh hours tomorrow, Deb will be camping at Kalimpong, his Cabinet colleague north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh at Kurseong, and tribal development minister and former IPS officer James Kujur will remain stationed at Darjeeling. All the three ministers have already reached the Hills.
In a related development, a division bench of Calcutta High Court headed by Chief Justice G C Gupta directed the state government to ensure that people’s right to free movement and livelihood are not disrupted in the Hills during the bandh tomorrow. The directive came in response to a petition moved by Trinamool MP Idris Ali.
The Chief Justice has also warned of suo motu contempt proceedings against GJM as calling a bandh goes against the judgements of the Supreme Court and various high courts issued from time to time.