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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightPro-Gorkhaland groups...

Pro-Gorkhaland groups form joint action committee

Pro-Gorkhaland groups form joint action committee

Darjeeling: Several parties led by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Friday formed a Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) and called for a five-day agitation starting Aug 19 during which it asked people to stay indoors, a GJM leader said here.

The GJM and other parties, which are fighting for a separate Gorkhaland state, called for the five-day "Ghar Bhitra Janta" (people inside homes) agitation in support of their demand.

"We have decided to form the GJAC to step up the movement for a separate state of Gorkhaland. We have also chalked out plans for a week-long agitation and have requested people not to venture outdoors (Aug 19-23)," GJM leader and JCAC chairman Enos Das Pradhan said.

Besides the GJM, the Communist Party of Revolutionary (Marxist), the All India Gorkha League, Hill BJP and the Congress were among the parties which attended parleys at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club.

The meeting chalked out agitation programmes from Aug 19 to 26.

"There will be Raksha Bandhan processions on August 24-25," said Pradhan.

On Aug 26, a human chain would be formed in the afternoon. "People will come out wearing black bands with posters demanding Gorkhaland and condemning the attitude of the state government hanging from their neck," said Pradhan.

Presidents and secretaries of all the outfits would be part of the GJAC executive committee.

"The Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee has agreed that GTA (hill development body Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) is a failure and will be repealed soon," said GJM president Bimal Gurung, who has resigned as GTA chief executive.

Pradhan asked the central government to intervene to break the deadlock over the Gorkhaland demand.

"We are ready to speak to governor M.K. Narayanan if he wants to talk to us," said Pradhan.

The GJAC would meet again Aug 18 to chalk out the future course of action, he said.

Opposing the GJAC pronouncements, the state government said all steps would be taken to ensure normalcy in the hills.

State north Bengal Affairs Minister Gautam Deb said "Ghar Bhitra Janta" was only another name for the people's curfew imposed by the GJM in the hills Aug 13-14, which was frowned upon by the Calcutta High Court.

"The high court has said the Janata Curfew (people's curfew) is only a form of bandh (shutdown) and is unconstitutional. No Indian citizen is above the law or the constitution. We will take all the states needed to protect the constitution and keep life normal," Deb said.

"We will rally the people behind us and tackle the situation administratively and politically," the minister said.

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