Closure threat by tribal body

Siliguri, July 26 : The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad today told the state government to restore transport movement in the Terai by Monday or else, face blockades and closure of offices and educational institutions in Siliguri.
“Ever since the morcha launched its indefinite strike in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district on July 13, the residents living just outside Siliguri have been facing problems. Schools are open in Dagapur, Salbari Panchanoi, Belgachi, Hanskowa and tea estates of Naxalbari. But thousands of children have to walk around six-eight kilometres everyday to attend classes as no vehicle is plying in these areas,” said Rajesh Toppo, the working secretary of the Parishad at Dagapur near here.
Places like Dagapur and Naxalbari are not in the three subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong where the indefinite strike is being enforced.
But roads leading to the hills from Siliguri pass through these areas and the Morcha is halting traffic, people living there, too, bear the brunt of the bandh.
“We will submit a memorandum addressed to the Siliguri subdivisional officer through the inspector-in-charge of Pradhannagar police station this evening, offering two days (Saturday and Sunday) to regularise the traffic on NH55 and state highways which pass through the Terai. Otherwise, we will walk up to Siliguri on Monday and close down educational institutions and cripple traffic across the town. Our people can no longer face the inconveniences caused by the Morcha strike. The administration should initiate steps to bring normalcy, instead of sitting idle and allowing the Morcha a free hand,” said the Parishad leader.
Another Parishad leader, Samuel Bag, was also present at the news conference.
“The Morcha supporters are using vehicles with party flags perched on them to reach markets. Common people like us, on the other hand, have to walk miles to buy essential items. We carry grocery items and vegetables either on bicycles or heads. Why should we live through such troubles when we live in the Siliguri subdivision where the Morcha is not enforcing the bandh? It is high time that the government acted to resolve the problem,” said Bag.
The Parishad also demanded “appropriate administrative steps” to ensure that there were no law and order problems when the Morcha launches hunger strikes at Metelli, Birpara and Kalchini in the Dooars tomorrow.