Morcha youth wing calls off Darjeeling strike

president Binay Tamang
The youth wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has withdrawn the 24-hour general strike it called in the Darjeeling hills on December 29 following an appeal by party president Binay Tamang not to inconvenience tourists.
The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, which is allegiant to the Tamang faction of the parent party, had called the strike to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens and to demand introduction of Inner Line Permit in the hills.
Tamang, who was in Siliguri on Thursday, said: “The hills are into celebrations on the occasion of Christmas and New Year’s Day. Thousands of tourists are in the hills now to enjoy their holidays. I appreciate the manner in which our youths have come forward to protest the CAA and the NRC and hope they will stand by us as we continue our movement. But I have simultaneously urged them to withdraw the December 29 strike so that locals and tourists do not face any inconvenience.”
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Following Tamang’s appeal, leaders of the Yuva Morcha held a meeting to discuss the plea. 

Later, Amrit Yonzon, the Yuva Morcha president, said: “The party president spoke to us and said the strike should be withdrawn. We held a meeting and decided to withdraw it.”
After the violent agitation for Gorkhaland in 2017, Tamang had declared the hills a strike-free zone.
Tamang also announced two marches as part of the protest.
Morcha supporters will take out a rally from Darjeeling to Kurseong on December 29. On January 5, they will walk downhill (from Kurseong) and the march will conclude at Darjeeling More in Siliguri,” Tamang said.
The first march will cover a distance of around 40km. The second procession is for a distance of nearly 38km.
The BJP had organised a rally in Siliguri on Tuesday in support of the CAA.
“We have seen the photos and videos of the BJP’s rally. The presence of Gorkhas in the rally was negligible. It is clear that the Gorkhas are against the CAA and NRC,” Tamang said on Thursday.
Travel operators welcomed the withdrawal of the strike call.
“We have thanked Binay Tamang in writing for his appeal and welcome the decision by the youths of his party to withdraw the strike. It would send a good message to tourists who are visiting the hills now. It is a great relief for us as many of us have started altering itineraries of tourists, particularly those who are supposed to arrive or leave on December 29,” said Samrat Sanyal, general secretary, Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network.
Trinamul leaders in Siliguri said they had suggested two routes for Mamata Banerjee’s march against the CAA and the NRC in Siliguri on January 3.
“We have proposed the Tinbatti More-AH 2-Burdwan Road-Hill Cart Road-Darjeeling More route. The other route is from Tinbatti More to Hashmi Chowk through AH 2, Burdwan Road and Hill Cart Road. It is up to our party supremo and the state leadership to take a decision,” said Ranjan Sarkar, the Darjeeling (plains) district Trinamul chief.
Additional reporting by Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling and Binita Paul in Siliguri

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The youth wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has withdrawn the 24-hour general strike it called in the Darjeeling hills on December 29 following an appeal by party president Binay Tamang not to inconvenience tourists.

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