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GTA not to send delegation to Delhi to meet Rajnath Singh

Darjeeling :The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha has decided not to send a delegation to Delhi to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh as announced earlier. The plan was to persuade Singh to call a tripartite meeting and also seek his intervention to reason with the state government over the independent functioning of the council. GTA Sabha members had convened an emergency meeting on June 28 and passed a resolution to send a delegation to the national capital. However, the Sabha faxed the resolution to the minister Wednesday evening following a change in plan. “We wanted to send a delegation to Delhi to meet the union home minister over the GTA’s issues. We decided to scrap the plan as our MP met Mr Singh and apprised him of the situation here. We sent a faxed communication yesterday on the advice of our representative,” said GTA Sabha chairman Bhupendar Pradhan. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-led GTA has been alleging state government interference in its functioning despite the council being granted an autonomous status. 

Over the past several months, the GTA and the state government have been at loggerheads, straining the otherwise cordial relations between the two. The Sabha emergency meeting was apparently called after GTA sabhasad Kaziman Lohagun was arrested on June 27 allegedly for supplying weapons to six persons presently under arrest on charges of threatening a landowner in Jamuney, where the GTA plans to set up a tourist hub. “In our letter to the union home minister, we have also highlighted the arrest of the GTA sabhasad and his implication on false charges. However, we are yet to receive any official communications from Delhi,” said Pradhan. Lohagun is the Sabhasad from the Pu-Bijanbari-Goke constituency under which the disputed 13.8 acres of land in Jamuney falls. 

Nine land losers have lodged a complaint against the GTA alleging it forcibly acquired their land and did not pay any compensation. The Darjeeling district administration has imposed Section 144 of the CRPC over the disputed land, halting all ongoing work of the GTA. With legal hurdles coming in the way of the tourism project, the GTA Wednesday also said it has decided to relocate the project. This decision was announced by the district administration late Wednesday night via a press release. GJM leaders have so far refused to comment, while party sources said the project will be moved from the disputed site to another area in the vicinity the owners of which have agreed to part with their property.
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