Darjeeling: With the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) having relaxed the indefinite bandh to demand Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills for four days from Independence day, its President Bimal Gurung today said that the ‘agitation’ will continue from August 19.
“The agitation will continue from 19th August,” Gurung said in a Facebook post, without specifying what the agitation would be or whether the indefinite bandh which entered the 11th day, would be continued.
“The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will continue to exercise their freedom of expression, speech and will assemble peacefully to press for their demand for Gorkhaland. We will let the people know our plans on the 16th,” he said.
The GJM had yesterday announced that an all party meeting would be held on August 16.
The GJM is holding a 2-day ‘janata curfew’ in the hills today and tomorrow.
Related: GJM supporters arrested
The ‘janata curfew’ came at the expiry of the 72-hour deadline set by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to call off the shut down, which has been declared illegal.
The Calcutta High Court has directed the state government to take steps to maintain normalcy in the Darjeeling hills.
Related: Darjeeling closure hits Bengal tourism
Yesterday, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said that force would not be used to enforce the bandh in deference to the high court order.
Meanwhile, life remained paralysed in the hills, but there was no picketing as witnessed in the past few days.
Another 30 GJM members were arrested, taking the total number of arrests to 214, police sources said.
The arrested included GJM central committee member Ashok Lama from Kalchini in the Dooars in the plains, according to SP Kunal Agarwal’s office here.
The GJM has softened its stance saying it would participate in the election of a new chief executive of the hill council, Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA).
GTA Sabha chairman and Morcha central committee member Bhupendra Pradhan has said he would write to the GTA principal secretary R D Meena to call a meeting of the GTA Sabha on August 16 to elect the new chief executive of the hill body.
Bimal Gurung resigned as CEO on July 30 prior to the start of the agitation for a separate state.
Yesterday, GJM spokesman Harka Bahadur Chhetri had said all GTA members would resign at an ‘appropriate time’.
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