STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 8 July
The anti-Gorkhaland pressure group, Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Banchao Committee (BOBBBC) has called a 24-hour state-wide bandh on 19 August, protesting against the GJMM reviving its demand to include 396-odd mouzas located across Terai-Dooars in course of the Hill-based party&’s rural poll campaigning.
The organisation that has remained in the van of the movement against the demand of a separate Gorkhaland state and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has also demanded immediate scrapping of the fact-finding committee that was constituted by the state government after the GJMM had rejected the Justice Shyamal Sen Committee report that had recommended five additional mouzas to be included in the GTA.
The BOBBBC president, Dr Mukunda Majumdar, said his orgainsation had initially planned to call the state-wide bandh in July, keeping in view the fact that the GTA agreement had been inked that month in 2011.
“But we have deferred it to August in view of the rural polls,” he added.
“We strongly condemn the GJMM for holding meetings in the multi-ethnic sensitive region ignoring the administration. They keep cajoling the Adivasi people by dangling before them the carrot of development ~ their sinister objective being to capture seats in the three-tier rural elections to give electoral legitimacy to their clamour for lands to be included in the GTA and, by extension, into the Gorkhaland state,” he said.
He further said the state government should immediately scrap the fact-finding committee.
“The committee is giving legitimacy to the unjust demand of the GJMM for lands in the multi-ethnic region. If the committee continues functioning, it would auger ill as far as the inter-ethnic solidarity is concerned. The GJMM would try to squeeze it in its favour using to its advantage the state government&’s pliancy,” Dr Majumder added.
The GJMM assistant secretary and a senior GTA functionary, Mr Binay Tamang, said his party is least bothered about a parochial outfit calling a bandh in Siliguri on the land issue.
“We have every right to raise the land demand issue before the electorate in course of rural poll campaigning,” Mr Tamang said.
“We would continue doing so, bandh or no bandh. It is our constitutional right. If the bandh would paralyse Siliguri, the people there would incur losses,” he said.
“It matters little for us and the Hills,” Mr Tamang also said.