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Since 1st March, 1999
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Parishad warns against state cry in plains

Siliguri, July 26: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad today said it had nothing against the August-11 tripartite meeting, but would counter any move by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to include the Terai and Dooars in the separate state the hill party had been demanding.

Birsa Tirkey, the state president of the Parishad, said: “We are not concerned about the tripartite talks involving the Morcha and central and state governments in Delhi on August 11. But we want to say clearly that those who have been living in the Dooars and the Terai for decades will not allow the regions to be parts of Gorkhaland, as demanded by the Morcha.”

Tirkey was here to attend a meeting of the state executive committee of the Parishad.

The outfit also demanded an alternative road to the Dooars from Siliguri as the existing NH31 through Sevoke often gets blocked because of frequent strikes by the Morcha or landslides.

So, a new road in the plains, crossing the Teesta, is necessary for the development of the Dooars, said Tirkey.

Parishad leaders said they had discussed several issues related to the development of the community at the meeting. “Our struggle to improve the socio-economic conditions of the tribal population has started bearing fruit. Distribution of land rights has started, a closed tea estate (Chinchula) has opened and more academic institutions are coming up. Also, senior government officials are meeting us on a regular basis to discuss development issues and brief us on the progress of several schemes,” said the state president.

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