W. Bengal tribal outfit distances itself from separate Gorkhaland state demand

Siliguri, Nov 1: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad (ABAVP), a non-political tribal outfit in West Bengal, which joined hands earlier with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), has now distanced itself from the separate state demand.

The two outfits that joined hands together on Sunday seemed to have developed different opinions in a days’ time.

Interacting with mediapersons, John Barla, the President of the Dooars Committee of ABAVP, said that if the GJM again raises their voice for a separate Gorkhaland state, they will not support the GJM.

“We just want to say that the compromise that we have made today among ourselves is for the peace and development of Dooars and the other people living in the region. This is the only thing we are concentrating on and we don’t want to get into politics, the only thing we want is the development of Dooars and Terai people,” said Barla.

Both outfits had been at the loggerheads till now as the Adivasi Vikas Parishad had threatened to agitate over the demand of GJM for the merging of 199 areas each from the Dooars and Terai region in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

“This is about our identity, our demands and we came together to resolve this deviation from our goal and now we will together press our demands to the state government and the central (federal) government,” added Barla.

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 is estimated to be around a million. (ANI)