Kalimpong, 27 Jun:

Copies of the tripartite agreement – between the Centre, WB Govt and GJM – signed of 18 July 2011 which had led to the creation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, and the gazette notification establishing the GTA were burnedtoday at Kalimpong.

This was in obedience to the announcement made by the GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha chief, BimalGurung, appointing today as the day when these document would be consigned to flames to mark a symbolic end of the GTA model and resuscitate the call for statehood.

Addressing GJM supporters today, the party vice-president, KalyanDewan, highlighted that the WB Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee,when she came to power in herfirst term, had promised to solve the problems of the Hills and facilitated the formation of the GTA.

However, throughout the last five years, her government has constantly interfered with the functioning of the GTA and besieged it with interference and stonewalling, he added.

Today, GJM supporters came out in strong number along with JAP, CPRM and GNLF members in a rally which started from DamberChowk and gathered at Mela Ground. There, the people placed a copy of the Act on a table along with an effigy of the WB CM and lit them up amidst some strong sloganeering.

In another incident, the home of Rajen Bhetwal,chairperson of the KhasHitkariDevelopment Board,was attacked and targeted with arson at Paiyu, 14 kms fromKalimpong, last night.

The incident is reported to have occurred at around 8 pm when around 12 maskedmen attacked the house. Mr Bhetwal’s wife and child were at home at the time. The miscreants are reported to have orderedthem out and then proceeded to damage the vehicles parked there and lobbed a petrol bomb into the house.

Two roomsof the house took some damage in the resulting fire.

It is alleged that the attackers had warned neighbours not to come out of their houses during the incident. Once they left, people rushed out to contain the fire. Afire tender was rushed from Kalimpongwhile Mr Bhetwal’swife and child were rescued by Kaliimpong Police later.

GJMhas denied any hand in the attack.