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In Darjeeling, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha suspends proposed shutdowns

Darjeeling:  Citing the appeals made by the President, Union Home and Finance Ministers to concentrate on development plank for the people of hills, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today called off its series of shutdowns slated for this month but said there will be rallies on the statehood demand on different days instead.

GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told the media in deference to the appeals by President Pranab Mukherjee, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram a central committee meeting here decided to call off the proposed shut-downs in hills, which included shutdowns from Saturday till March 27 and two 48-hour general strikes later this month.

However, to press for the Gorkhaland demand and in protest against alleged interference by West Bengal government in the functioning of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a new programme schedule has been set in its place, Giri said.

"We continue to be critical of the West Bengal Government for undermining the autonomy of the GTA and expect the Centre to take up the matter," Giri, who was in the delegation to the Capital, said.

He said employees of government offices will hold an hour-long demonstration outside their workplaces from Saturday on each working day till April 9 raising slogans in demand of a separate 'Gorkhaland'.

Meanwhile two companies of CRPF arrived in Darjeeling yesterday to maintain law and order with political clashes taking place at regular intervals.

The employees assembled in front of several offices, including municipalities, power utilities, GTA and SDO, demanding 'Gorkhaland' and slamming the state.

While silent rallies will take place on March 14, 15, 21 and 22, there will be torch rallies on every Monday, Thursday and Sunday. Students will also be sent to New Delhi for sit-ins, the meeting held after the arrival of GJM President from New Delhi, resolved with the hope that the Centre will intervene by April 9.

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