Heavy rains in Darjeeling Hills stalled the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-led Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee’s (GJAC) ‘Janata Sadak Ma’ agitation planned to fill the streets on Aug 20-23. The GJAC deferred its ongoing agitation for a separate state by two days to enable relief work to go unhindered.
“The hills have been hit by rains and thunderstorms. Roads and houses have been damaged. There is no power supply. So, we have decided to keep on hold our ‘Janta Sadak Ma (people in the streets) programme for two days. It will now be held Aug 22-23,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told IANS.
The thunderstorm struck Darjeeling Monday night, disrupting electricity supply in major parts of the three Darjeeling Hills sub-divisions — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — damaging roads and bringing down houses.
The newly-formed GJAC has organised protest rallies Aug 24 and 25. On Aug 26, a human chain will be formed. The people will petition central political leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi for creation of Gorkahland.
The GJAC has also announced it planned to launch an economic blockade of tea and timber — two mainstays of the hill economy besides tourism. However, the date for the movement was yet to be finalised.