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Rally norms for hill parties
- GNLF & Morcha promise to abide by ‘code of conduct’

Darjeeling, Dec. 24: The GNLF and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have agreed to the Darjeeling district administration’s suggestion that only one political meeting would be allowed in a day. Permission will be give on first-come-first-served basis.

The two parties are also willing to restrict the meetings between 10am and 3pm. The “code of conduct” was chalked out by the administration to prevent friction between the GNLF and the hill Opposition, especially the Morcha, over the Sixth Schedule status.

If the parties stick to the “code”, then leaders have to refrain from resorting to pressure tactics like setting up blockades before filing a complaint. “They should lodge a complaint first and allow the administration to take action,” said Rajesh Pandey, the district magistrate of Darjeeling.

“The meeting was part of the administrative measures to ensure that the common man is not inconvenienced. The parties have also promised to stick to the stipulated hours,” he added.

Political parties usually prolong their meetings, which leads to supporters returning home late. In the cover of darkness, they often clash with rival groups.

Twelve Morcha supporters were arrested last night from Sukhiapokhri, 25km from here, after they allegedly smashed the window panes of five vehicles carrying GNLF supporters.

The Morcha, however, claimed that the provocation had come from the other end.

While A.R. Dewan and Manikala Tamang represented the GNLF in the meeting, D.K. Pradhan, Dawa Lama and A.K.M. Thulung were some of the Morcha leaders present.

D.T. Lepcha, the deputy inspector-general (Darjeeling range), who also attended the meeting with Jayanta Paul, the Darjeeling additional superintendent of police, directed both the parties to be “specific when lodging police complaints and not name the entire leadership”.

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