Confusion over withdrawal of indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills

Bringing differences within the party to the fore, a section of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders on Thursday announced withdrawal of the ongoing indefinite shutdown in the north Bengal hills for 12 days, even as some top leaders of the party claimed otherwise.

According to sources close to the GJM, some central committee members held a meeting in Darjeeling district’s Kurseong and decided to withdraw the ongoing shutdown from September 1 to September 12.

Party joint secretary Binay Tamang, who convened the meeting, could not be contacted even after several attempts.

However, denying such a move, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri claimed the shutdown would continue and said the party chief Bimal Gurung has not taken any decision to withdraw it.

“Bimal Gurung said the shutdown has not been withdrawn,” Giri said in a message.

“The shutdown is going to continue. We will later decide whether the party would participate in the state government sponsored all party meeting on September 12. The news about withdrawing the shutdown is incorrect,” Giri claimed.

Tamang led a five-member party delegation at the state government sponsored all-party meeting along with other major hill parties in Kolkata on August 29 and claimed that the peace and normalcy in the hills should be restored immediately.

Normal life has been paralysed since June 12 due to the indefinite shutdown called by the GJM, severely impacting the region’s economy based on tea, tourism and timber.

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