Siliguri, July 16: Adivasi Vikas Parishad, a non-political outfit, called for a 24-hour shutdown in Dooars and Terai region here on Saturday to oppose the proposed agreement between the West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to finalise the newly agreed interim set-up in the disputed Gorkhaland region.
The streets wore a deserted look with all the shops and establishments being closed during the shutdown.
Consequently, the rail services to the region were also suspended due to the shutdown.
Mani Lakra, a leader of Adivasi Vikas Parishad, said they would not let their areas merge with GJM at any cost.
“Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) wants to make their administrative territory (in Dooars and Terai region), but we people belonging to Dooars and Terai oppose this and we will not let this happen,” he said.
The Adivasi Vikas Parishad had called for a two-day strike, but after an appointment with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was fixed, they called off their one-day strike.
“We had a word with Gautam Deb (Housing Minister for West Bengal state), and got an appointment with Mamata (Mamata Banerjee), therefore we have decided to withdraw one day strike but we will continue today’s strike,” said Lakra.
A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal estimated to be around a million has been demanding a separate state. (ANI)