JALPAIGURI (WB):An indefinite bandh in the Terai-Dooars region called by a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed committee was called off today at the request of the West Bengal government, GJM president Bimal Gurung said.
"Considering the situation in the region, the problems faced by the people during bandh and the request of the state government and the district administration, we are postponing the bandh for the time being," he said.
However, Gurung warned that if the administration did not allow them to hold public meetings in Terai Dooars region to press for their demand of inclusion of 396 moozas in the GTA, then they would again call for a strike.
"If that demand is not met, then we will again go back to our demand for Gorkhaland," he said.
The indefinite bandh called from Monday by the Terai Dooars Coordination Committee, also backed by the John Barla faction of the Adivasi Vikash Parishad, had witnessed widespread violence and also in the Terai-Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district.
The bandh was relaxed for 48 hours till today.
Gurung today addressed a public meeting at Dalsinghpara in Kalchini block in the district amid tight security, official sources said.
District Magistrate Smarki Mohapatra, however, said no official permission had been given for the meeting.
Gurung addressed the gathering in Nepali.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Lakra of the Adivasi Vikash Parishad, which is opposed to the inclusion of plains areas in the proposed GTA, said they would protest if 396 mouzas in the Terai-Dooars region were included in the GTA.
Public Health Engineering and Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, who visited neighbouring Siliguri and met district magistrates of all six districts in northern Bengal, appealed to all concerned to maintain peace in the hills and the plains.
The administration's refusal of permission to the GJM to hold a public rally at Nagrakata on Sunday had resulted in the coordination committee calling an indefinite bandh in the Terai-Dooars region in support of inclusion of Gorkha- dominated areas in the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Authority.
District officials had yesterday requested Gurung to return to the hills in view of the volatile situation in the plains.