Kurseong, 21 February: Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) president and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief, Bimal Gurung yesterday came down heavily on the Hill Trinamul Congress (TMC) leadership and activists, alleging that they are bent on unleashing terror in the Hills in connivance with police. He warned that he would take the challenge head-on, leaving behind the development agenda if these elements are not effectively curbed.
“Some local TMC people seem to be making full use of the perceived supineness of police. Emboldened by the law enforcers mollycoddling with them, they keep spreading terror across the Hills,” he said, addressing a foundation stone laying programme for a super specialty hospital at the INS Bus Terminus here. Mr Gurung further said that while he is focused on developing the Hills through a string of projects in assistance from the state government a section of the people are intent on wrecking the cordial relationship between the state government and them.
“A few TMC people are engaged in ‘goondagiri’ across the Darjeeling Hills. They have been threatening and extorting from the business community and contractors. They are also threatening our supporters, saying that they will be put behind bars if they refuse with the help of police,” Mr Gurung said.
The Hills TMC general secretary, NB Khawas, however, said Mr Gurung’s allegations are baseless. “The reverse is true. They are laying the blame of something at our doorstep of which the GJMM activists are adepts,” he said, adding, metaphorically, that a person with jaundice (yellow appearance) always sees others as having the disease as well.
Mr Gurung said a TMC member cannot do anything he likes on the assumption that they would get away with the misdeeds with his party ruling the roost in the state. “Does TMC subscribe to this?” he asked.
According to him, IB & DIB should inform the state government about the extortion spree being indulged in by the ruling par activists. “Stringent steps must be taken to stem the tide of lawlessness,” the GJMM leader said.
“We have also led agitation, but we were never into extortions, burning houses and beating up people.
People who engage themselves in such acts should never be parts of any political party or organisation,” Mr Gurung added. sns
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