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Darjeeling mega-Lok Adalat to settle bills during Gorkhaland agitation

Darjeeling mega-Lok Adalat to settle bills during Gorkhaland agitation
Darjeeling, 6 August: The Darjeeling district legal service authority has decided to convene a 'mega-Lok Adalat' on 31 August to settle issues pertaining to outstanding telephone bills that had accumulated during the first phase of the Gorkhaland statehood agitation in the Hills led by the Gokha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM).
The dues in telephone bills in Darjeeling town alone amount to over Rs 10 crore.
People in the Hills had stopped paying their electricity and telephone bills from April 1, 2008, following a call from the GJMM to not pay taxes to the government as part of its non-cooperation movement for the Gorkhaland demand.
"The telephone bills have been pending since the time the agitation was led by the GJMM," said public prosecutor Pranay Rai, who is also one of the 10 members of the committee of the DDLSA.
It is learnt that district judge Uday Kumar will preside over the committee.
"If the issue is resolved for Darjeeling, the same will be convened for Kurseong and Kalimpong," Mr Rai further said.
Officials of the Siliguri Telecom district could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.
Commenting on it, GJMM assistant general secretary Jyoti Rai, meanwhile, said: "It has already been decided with the state government that the electricity and telephone bill issue will be resolved politically as the move to boycott the taxes was part of a political movement."(sns)

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