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GJM's Bimal Gurung to Move Court After Bengal Govt Drops His Name From Voters’ List

The decision of the Darjeeling District Electoral Office is considered a major setback for the GJM ahead of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration elections that are likely to be held in August.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:June 29, 2018, 6:13 PM IST
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GJM's Bimal Gurung to Move Court After Bengal Govt Drops His Name From Voters’ List
File photo of GJM chief Bimal Gurung. (Getty Images)
Kolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung on Friday termed as “established colonial practice” the move of the West Bengal government to remove his name as well as those of his aide Roshan Giri and family members from the voters’ list.

“We will fight against this illegal attempt at subverting democracy through the courts. In the meantime, we request our people to unite and speak out against this dictatorship. The removal of selective Gorkha names from the electoral rolls by West Bengal government, using dubious and vague means, goes against the very ethos and essence of our democracy,” Gurung said.

He added, “In removing our names, the Mamata Banerjee government has tried to send a message to the Gorkhas that ‘look, we can do this to your top leaders, we will crush all of you’. But this is when we as a community should dig in our heels and resolve to stand taller in unity against tyranny.”

Claiming that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has imposed a virtual Emergency in the Gorkhaland region, Gurung said, “It is now apparent that the TMC government will leave no stone unturned to ensure the dreams and demand of Gorkhaland state remain buried and the will of our people to fight back is crushed forever. But they don’t seem to realise that our dreams and aspirations to have a state of our own are like seeds. The deeper Mamata tries to bury us, the stronger our roots will grow.”

The decision of the Darjeeling District Electoral Office (DEO) is considered a major setback for the GJM ahead of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) elections that are likely to be held in August.

Speaking to News18, district magistrate of Darjeeling Joyoshi Das Gupta had said, “It’s a normal process. Every year, as per Election Commission rules, we remove names of persons who are dead, have permanently shifted to other places or are absconding. This year, we have removed a few 100 names.”

When asked if the names of Gurung and Giri were also removed, she had said, “I don’t remember individual names that were struck off.”

The district administration recently issued notices at the residences of some people, including those of Gurung and his aide. They were asked to respond to the officials concerned at the DM office to help them prepare a fresh list of voters in Darjeeling.

“The names of those who appeared for hearing were not removed. But the names of those who didn’t turn up, including Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, were struck off the list,” a district administrative official said.

The GJM has been at loggerheads with the state government. In June last year, the organisation opposed the state government’s decision to make Bangla compulsory in schools and held a two-day strike in Darjeeling. They also forcibly closed down nearly 986 schools and colleges in the Hills to protest against the government’s move.

On June 4, Gurung called for a massive movement against the state government and said apart from the language issue, the GJM would also intensify its movement for Gorkhaland.

On June 9, a complaint was lodged against Gurung for rioting and arson. His security was withdrawn and he has been absconding since then.

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