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Plains protest interim panel

Siliguri, Dec. 24: Siliguri- based forums and tribals in the Terai and Dooars today said they would oppose and if necessary prevent the proposed three-member verification team from recommending mouzas to be brought under the interim authority, as demanded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

“We have heard about the proposed verification team and will oppose its activities, which we suspect are aimed to hand over some more areas to the Morcha. If necessary, we will obstruct them from doing their work in the areas concerned as there is no question of any further partition of Bengal,” said Mukunda Majumdar, the president of Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee, an anti-Gorkhaland outfit.

Since the interim set-up was proposed by the Centre, the Morcha leaders had been insisting on inclusion of 119 mouzas of the Dooars and 106 mouzas of the Terai within it. Delhi has reportedly agreed to form a three-member team to look into the demand.

The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad that represents the tribals today echoed the Bhasha Banchao Committee.

“Tribals reside in 315 mouzas of the Terai and Dooars and we have made it clear that none of these can be included in the interim authority, likely to be formed in the hills,” said Tezkumar Toppo, the state general secretary of the Parishad. “Even if the verification team attempts to carry out activities… there would be vehement opposition from our side.”

The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, however, today said it would launch a campaign in the Terai to apprise the people about the latest developments on the set-up, the polls that would be held in the hills soon and about statehood, their key demand.

“We will elaborate the benefits that can be reaped by us from the proposed interim authority…,” said Dipen Maley, the media secretary of the Morcha’s youth wing. “Further, our original demand of separate statehood will be there with programmes lined up to achieve it in the coming days.”

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