Ruling out dialogue with the West Bengal government, the GJM spearheading a stir for a separate Gorkhaland today announced a fresh 48-hour shut down over the weekend in Darjeeling after the arrest of two prominent party leaders and demanded central intervention.
"The Hills will be closed on Saturday and Sunday to condemn the unwanted arrests of GJM leaders," GJM chief Bimal Gurung said in a Facebook post.
The GJM president in a separate post also said that the two-day 'ghar bahira janata' (people on the streets) agitation from today would continue indefinitely till those arrested were released and the cases against them withdrawn.
"There will be no relaxation even on Saturday and Sunday and ghar bahira janata agitation will continue indefinitely till GJM members are released and their cases are withdrawn," he said.
At a public meeting Gurung said, "The strike will continue until the leaders are released. There will be no relaxation even on Saturday and Sunday. Today they were arrested, tomorrow I may have to go to jail, but our movement will continue."
He also announced that 721 GJM leaders and members of GJM who were in judicial custody would go on an indefinite hunger-strike.
Demanding central intervention, he said, "We will not talk to Mamata Banerjee. The Centre has to intervene. We can talk to the Governor."
Tamang, assistant secretary of GJM and an executive member in-charge of Information and Culture Department of the hill council, GTA, was arrested from Rambi near the Sikkim-West Bengal border in Kalimpong subdivision, police sources said.
Another GTA member and GJM leader Satish Pokhrel, was arrested along with Tamang, besides two others, the sources said.
The four were produced in a court in Kalimpong and remanded to 14 days judicial custody.
With the arrest of Tamang and Pokhrel, 13 GTA members have been arrested since the indefinite bandh began on August three.
The high court had on August 14 expressed displeasure over the GJM's violation of its order of August 7 which had held the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling as illegal.
Stating the fundamental rights of the people were being violated, the high court had also asked why the GJM would not be asked to compensate damage to public and private property in the hills.
It had also directed the state government to assess damage to public and private property and submit a report to it.
Meanwhile, Governor M K Narayanan today said if the hill party wanted his intervention, they should seek it, stressing that "West Bengal extends from the oceans to the mountains."
"If they want my intervention, then they should come around for my intervention. But I have made it very clear that the state of West Bengal extends from the oceans to the mountains," Narayanan said in Kolkata when asked to react to GJM supremo seeking his 'mediation'.
Asked whether the Trinamool Congress government in the state has sent him any proposal to mediate, Narayanan said, "That I don't know. You ask the government."
GJM publicity head Harka Bahadur Chhetri said that all schools and colleges in Darjeeling hills would be exempted from the purview of the agitation and reopen from September one.
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