In what threatened to trigger fresh trouble in eastern hills, the West Bengal government-appointed committee on inclusion of new areas to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) map has recommended only five mouzas be added.
The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) that had demanded 389 mouzas has threatened to launch a stir.
“I don’t accept this recommendation. Hitting the streets is the best way to achieve our demands. We will launch fresh movement demanding statehood,” said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, soon after chief secretary Samar Ghosh made the report public, on Saturday.
The committee was set up July 29, 2011, after the GJM demanded 398 additional mouzas (area less than a sub-division) spread over Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts to be included in the GTA -- a new hill council to run the administration in Darjeeling area.
“We expected at least 150 mouzas. But this is too meagre and an insult to us,” GJM MLA Harkabahadur Chhetri said.
“I’ll request all sides to keep their promise of abiding by the report and not to play politics over the report,” said chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The chairman of the nine-member committee, retired Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen, recommended three mouzas — MM Terai, Gulmakhari and East Kalaibari — in Darjeeling district and two —Samsing and Chalouni — in Jalpaiguri district to be included in the GTA territory that now consists of the erstwhile Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council area of 2,476 sq kmp.
The GTA agreement — signed on July 18, 2011, between the state government, Centre and the GJM — was an attempt to infuse autonomy in the hills. The committee was constituted on July 29 last year.