Sukna (West Bengal), July 18 (IANS) A tripartite agreement on the Darjeeling hills was signed Monday between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and the West Bengal and central governments.
At the core of the pact is the formation of a new autonomous elected Hill Council Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), which is armed with more powers as compared to its predecessor Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s.
Thousands of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters gathered at the Pintal Village, near Sukna, to witness and celebrate the signing of the tripartite agreement for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration today. Clad in traditional attire, the supporters, including women, gathered under the tents erected on the sprawling ground near the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council bungalow amidst heavy security.
Activists of the GJM women's wing, Gorkha Nari Morcha, took to the stage, dancing and singing to celebrate the occasion. Many of the supporters were heard shouting slogans like, 'Mamata Banerjee zindabad,' and 'Bimal Gurung zindabad,' while shouts of 'we want Gorkhaland,' 'we want a separate state,' were also heard.
"This is a turning point in our movement and not a permanent settlement. This is only a temporary settlement to address the basic problem. The separate state issue must not be a closed chapter," P Arjun, a member of the GJM think tank 16-member Study Forum, told Media.