Says formation of high-powered area demarcation committee does not mean 'giving away' the regions to Gorkhaland Territorial Administration

Trying to put an end to speculation on the issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said the formation of a high-powered area demarcation committee does not mean 'giving away' the Terai and Dooars region to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

"Please do not get tense. We have just formed a high-powered committee. That does not mean that we have given away Terai and Dooars. The people of hills have placed their demand...So we have formed the committee. Now you can also place your demands before the committee," Banerjee said while addressing a rally at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district.

Banerjee came to Dooars (Himalayan foothills) Tuesday night after a two-day visit to Darjeeling hills. The Terai and Dooars region constitutes the plains of Darjeeling district, Jalpaiguri district and the upper region of Cooch Behar district.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the predominant political party in the hills, has long been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out from the northern parts of the state. It has also been demanding inclusion of Terai and Dooars under the GTA.