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Do Not Cross 'Laxman Rekha': Mamata Warns Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Chief

Mamata Banerjee said Bengali was never made compulsory in the Hills and the GJM chief was creating problems to hide his failures.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:June 9, 2017, 6:09 PM IST
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Do Not Cross 'Laxman Rekha': Mamata Warns Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Chief
File photo of Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee
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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has warned Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung to not cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ as protests intensify in the Hills against the state government’s decision to make Bangla compulsory in government schools.

While comparing Gurung with poet Kalidas, she said, “He is cutting the branch he was sitting on. We will not tolerate this and stern action will be taken against all who are responsible for the current situation in the Hills. So many tourists got stranded and they (GJM) indulged in dirty politics.”

Addressing a press conference, she alleged that Gurung supporters stored arms and ammunition inside Bhanu Bhawan (the administrative building of Gorkha Territorial Administration). “This is nothing but hooliganism. We never said that Bangla will be compulsory for the students in the Hills. He (Gurung) is creating problems to hide his failure as GTA chief,” she said.

ALSO READ | I am the CM of Hills, Says GJM's Gurung as Mamata Calls Darjeeling Bandh Illegal

The Gorkha Territorial Administration chief was quick to respond to Mamata’s assertions and also used the row to step up the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

“TMC supporters hurled stones at the policemen and now she is blaming us for the law and order problem. We don’t trust the state government anymore. It is high time for me to quite GTA to intensify our movement foe separate Gorkhaland,” Gurung said.

“I am happy that Army is here and we are feeling safe from TMC. Bangladesh was created because of struggle based on language. So, where is the problem in our struggle. We want President’s rule in West Bengal, otherwise our agitation will continue,” he said.

On Friday, the state government stepped up pressure on Gurung to end the protests and also withdrew his official security guards. An FIR has been lodged arson and rioting and it is likely that he will be arrested soon, said sources.

ALSO READ | Police Clash With GJM Supporters in Bengal's Hill Districts, 9 Injured

A six-member team to conduct a special audit of GTA had reached Darjeeling on Friday. The secretary of GTA, Ravinder Singh, has also been removed and is being replaced by Barun Roy, the secretary of the north Bengal development department.

Speaking to News18, a former GJM leader said, “This situation could have been averted (because state government clarified that Bangla is not compulsory in Hills) but due to poor leadership people are now complaining against Gurung. A large number of tourists are stranded in Darjeeling and this is sending a wrong message to people across the globe.”

ALSO READ | Thousands of Tourists Stranded in Darjeeling as GJM Supporters Clash With Police

“For us the real issue is separate Gorkhaland but Bimal Gurung for the last one year did nothing for it. People supported him only because he raised the issue of Gorkhaland. But he was quiet all these months and suddenly he decided to make Bangla issue to pitch his separate Gorkhaland movement. He is losing popularity in the hills and this was evident with the results of recently held civic elections. Now it is high time for the GJM to understand BJP’s actual stand on separate state issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has stayed back in Darjeeling to ensure safety of stranded tourists.

Since morning there were no reports of any violence in Darjeeling. Army was deployed to restore law and order situation. The chief minister has announced to keep its offices in the hills open despite 12-hour bandh called by the GJM.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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