Tea relief for hills

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today squeezed out an assurance from Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to enhance the relief package for workers in the closed Dooars tea gardens.

The demand for Gorkhaland was not raised at the meeting — the third with the chief minister this year — in Writers’ Buildings but the Morcha did not withdraw the hunger strike at Gorubathan. “If the government gives us the assurance (to reopen the gardens) in writing, we may lift the fast,” said Raju Pradhan, assistant general secretary of the Morcha in Darjeeling.

The team also demanded the release of arrested members of the party in Siliguri, Kurseong and the Dooars where they had been arrested after incidents of violence. “We want the government to compensate us for property damaged (in the violence) and to ensure our safety,” said Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri.

Bhattacharjee repeated the situation in the Dooars was not suitable to hold rallies.