manas ranjan banerjee
SILIGURI, 18 JUNE: In a move that might exacerbate inter-ethnic tension in the multi-ethnic Dooars ahead of the rural polls, the mainstream faction of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad today served a memorandum to the district magistrate, Jalpaiguri, Ms Smaraki Mahapatra, requesting her not to allow the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) president and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief Mr Bimal Gurung to hold a meeting at Nagrakata, scheduled tentatively on 23 June.
The western Dooars-based GJMM central committee leader, Mr Binod Ghatani, said the party president would campaign at Nagrakata on 23 June to seek Adivasi support for its main demands.
Apprehending that the GJMM chief raising demand for inclusion of the Dooars in the contours of the GTA in course of campaigning would trigger afresh inter-ethnic tension in the ethnically sensitive Dooars, the ABAVP mainstream leader, Mr Rajesh Lakra today said they would do everything to stop Mr Gurung from holding the meeting. “The situation here is now peaceful. But things might turn volatile if he is allowed to raise the sensitive land inclusion issue,” he said. He also said that they would call a 12-hour Nagrakata bandh on 23 June if the administration rejects their plea. However, unfazed by such opposition from the ABAVP mainstream faction, Mr Ghatani, said: “Everybody has the right to campaign. Mr Gurung and several other party central committee members would attend the meeting at Nagrakata on 23 June. We would not back out, come what may.”
The administrative officials are said to have sought inputs from the police before granting permission for the GJMM&’s meeting.