Tribals to oppose Gorkhaland stir

KOLKATA: The tribals of the Dooars are very much with the state government and will not support the Gorkhaland movement, a delegation of Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad (ABAVP) told chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday.
The CM has agreed to their demands for more schools in the region. He has even asked secretaries of the school education and backward classes welfare departments to visit the Dooars on February 1.
“We have told the chief minister that we are not supporting the Gorkhaland movement,” said ABAVP president Birsa Tirkey.
“The map that is being circulated by the  Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters includes some of our domain that belong to us traditionally and historically. The land where tea gardens have come up was reclaimed by our ancestors. Under no circumstances, shall we allow them to be included in the GJM’s demand for Gorkhaland,” he asserted. “Only a handful of tribals are with the GJM, demanding Gorkhaland,” Tirkey added.
Chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said the delegation demanded police action against GJM supporters involved in the Malbazar and Nagrakata clashes earlier this month. “The CM has asked police to take action against anyone, who has disrupted law and order.” The delegates, in turn, said they would only resort to agitations if their demands were not fulfilled. “The ABAVP members did mention a demand about an autonomous council. But the CM has assured of looking into their demands,” said Chakrabarti.