GJM calls bandh against Lepcha council on Feb 9

Gorkha Janamukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung on Wednesday called a bandh in Darjeeling and its surrounding areas on February 9 to protest against the West Bengal government's decision to set up a Lepcha development council called "Mayel Lyang".

"Mamata Banerjee is trying to implement a 'divide and rule' policy on us. Under the GTA Act, there is no provision for a Lepcha development council. Moreover, the name of the council, Mayel Lyang, means 'my land'. The state announced its decision without consulting GTA," said Gurung.

"How can the government declare the Lepcha development council... If needed, we will move the Supreme Court on the issue," he added.

Meanwhile, Banerjee met Bharti Tamang, widow of slain Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang. Several GJM leaders were named in the FIR related to Tamang's murder. While Banerjee had earlier refused to meet Bharti Tamang, she promised her support today.

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