The West Bengal government on Tuesday decided to withdraw more than 100 cases against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists and leaders which were started by the police during the movement of separate State of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling hills.
“The Chief Secretary and Home Secretary were in talks with the GJM leadership on the issue. We have decided to withdraw 115 cases against the GJM leadership," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. Most of these cases include law and order violations like holding road blockades and were clamped on GJM leaders before 2011.
The decision is significant as it comes days after BJP MP from Darjeeling, S. S. Ahluwalia, had raised the pitch for a separate Gorkhaland State.
The announcement also comes as a breather for the GJM. The party leadership is already grappling with charge sheet filed by the CBI against the entire top leadership in connection with murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.
Clean and Green Darjeeling
Meanwhile, Ms Bannerjee, who is on a three day visit to the hills announced a number of initiatives for making Darjeeling clean and green. Ms Banerjee said that 50,000 toilets would be built in Darjeeling.
“West Bengal government and GTA are working together for Clean and Green Darjeeling project worth Rs 500 crore," she said. Pointing out that the State is leading in Swacha Bharat campaign Ms Banerjee said that she wants to see Darjeeling also as number one in cleanliness drive.
“ We will employ 250 people under the 100 days work scheme for cleanliness drive. This model is successful in Kolkata," the Chief Minister added.
Ms Banerjee who had in the past set up development board for Lepcha, Tamang and Sherpa communities in the hills during the day said that a separate development board for people of Bhutanese origin will also be set up in the hills.