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Left Front blames Mamata government for Terai-Dooars violence

West Bengal's opposition Left Front (LF) Wednesday blamed the recent unrest in the Terai-Dooars region in the state's northern part to the "undue haste" of the Mamata Banerjee government to announce a solution to the long-standing problem of Darjeeling hills and its adjoining plains.

With Dooars and Terai rocked by two days of violence following an indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and a tribal body, LF chairman Biman Bose ridiculed Chief minister Mamata Banerjee's claim of having solved the issue in only 17 days into her tenure.

"Her government claimed to have solved the problem in only 17 days. Then how come there is fresh unrest there? And why is the GJM saying that representatives of the state government cannot visit the hills," Bose told mediapersons here.

Bose said instead of the problem being solved, it had now spread to the Terai (plains of Darjeeling district) and Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas).

Referring to the new hill development body Gorkahland Territorial Administration accord signed July 18 last year by the central and state governments and the GJM, Bose said a similar pact for autonomy that saw the emergence of the GTA's predecessor Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was inked in 1988 during the tenure of then chief minister Jyoti Basu.

"The only difference is the then government did not act in haste and that helped in ensuring there was no confusion among the people".

Bose urged the people to show restraint, and demanded the state administration take firm measures to tackle the situation. He alleged that the administration remained a silent spectator when mobs burnt shops, torched vehicles and damaged public property earlier this week.

He also called upon the government to hold discussions with all stakeholders for restoring peace.

Alluding to the expert committee that has been set up to conduct survey of the Gorkha-dominated parts of Siliguri, Terai and Dooars to see if some territory from these areas could be brought under the proposed GTA, Bose said: ""If the situation is so volatile now what will happen when the committee comes up with its report?"

In this context, he pointed out that the LF was always in favour of the GTA comprising only the Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district. 

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