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Ghisingh leaves Darjeeling with son

- GNLF leader out of hills unannounced

Darjeeling, July 20: Subash Ghisingh left Darjeeling unannounced this afternoon with his son, days after he directed his supporters to start rallies across the hills demanding revival of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council till a new administrative set-up under the Sixth Schedule was formed.

Sources said Ghisingh checked into a hotel in Bagdogra in Siliguri this evening and the GNLF chief is likely to leave for Delhi tomorrow.

Ghisingh, who was staying at his Dr Zakir Hussain Road residence in Darjeeling after his return to the hills on March 19, left with his son Mohan around 3.45pm today.

“Our leader keeps his cards close to his chest. There is word that he is going for treatment and he might also go to Delhi as we have started reviving our organisational activities because of specific reasons,” said M.G. Subba, convener of the GNLF Darjeeling branch committee. He, however, did not clarify the “reasons”.

Since July 5, GNLF supporters have been organising rallies across the hills every Saturday demanding revival of the DGHC till a new set-up under the Sixth Schedule was formed.

The rallies started after Ghisingh, who has spent almost three years in the plains, announced on his 80th birthday on June 22 that he was “not yet (politically) finished”.

During his absence, the party was mostly dormant. Political activities were revived only after Ghisingh decided to stay in Darjeeling.

The GNLF leader left Darjeeling for Jalpaiguri on July 26, 2008, after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activist Pramila Sharma was killed by a bullet allegedly fired from the house of a GNLF leader in Darjeeling. Ghisingh returned to Darjeeling on April 8, 2011, to campaign for his candidates in the Assembly elections. All three GNLF contestants from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong lost.

Ghisingh decided to leave the hills on May 16, 2011, after Morcha activist Rabin Rai was killed allegedly by GNLF supporters in Sonada. On March 19 this year, when Ghisingh returned to Darjeeling, he told his supporters that he had come to stay permanently.

Soon after that, GNLF decided to support Trinamul candidate Bhaichung Bhutia from Darjeeling seat in the Lok Sabha elections. Bhutia lost to BJP’s S.S. Ahluwalia who was backed by the Morcha.