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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Third GCPA faction raises demands

We are with Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association since its inception, says Shariful Islam

Our Bureau Cooch Behar/Jalpaiguri Published 13.12.22, 03:55 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Two organisations that represent the Rajbanshis and former KLO militants took up different activities in Cooch Behar and Jalpaigurion Monday to exert pressure on the Mamata Banerjee government on several demands, ranging from more funds to government jobs.

In Cooch Behar, a new faction of the Greater CoochBehar Peoples’ Association (GCPA) held a meeting at Rabindra Bhavan and forwarded a charter of demands to Mamata, saying that the state should meet the demands for the development of the Rajbanshi population in northBengal.

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So far, the GCPA had two factions headed by Ananta Maharaj and Bangshibadan Barman. On Monday, some leaders who were with both factions said they would work independently under the GCPA banner.

“We are with GCPA since its inception. However, over the years, Ananta Maharajhas built a palace for himself and Bangshibadan as chair of the development board didn’t do anything for ordinary Rajbanshi people although the state gave funds. That is why we severed ties with them and will take up our demands with the state government,” said Shariful Islam, secretary of the new GCPA faction.

Bangshibadan said he didn’t have any idea about a third faction. Ananta could not be contacted.

Among the demands that this new faction has raised are initiating the recruitment of the Rajbanshis to the Narayani Battalion of the state police, allocating additional funds to the development board and introducing Rajbanshi as a compulsory language in schools, colleges and universities of Cooch Behar.

“The state should meet these demands to expedite the socio-economic development of Rajbanshis,” added Islam.

In Jalpaiguri, around 350-odd former militants and linkmen of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), including some women, walked up to the office of the superintendent of police on Collectorate Avenue of the town.

They submitted a memorandum to Biswajit Mahato, the district police chief, requesting state government jobs for them.

According to them, some former militants and linkmen have been recruited as home guards but around 442 such persons in Jalpaiguri district have not yet received any such job.

“Similarly, there are 180 such people in Cooch Behar district and around 200 others in Alipurduar district. The state should accept our demand ahead of the notification of the upcoming rural polls. Or else, we will launch a movement,” said Jyotsna Roy, a former militant and president of the KLO Linkmen Mahila (Nari) Mancha Samannoy Committee, an association of former militants.

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