Kolkata, June 16 (IBNS) A new three-member fact verification committee would scrutinize the findings of the Justice Shymal Sen committee report on inclusion of new areas from the Terai and Dooars in the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), said Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Roshan Giri after a meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Saturday to register their protest against the Sen panel.
The GJM has announced a series of agitations, including resignations of their MLAs, to protest the report of the Justice Sen panel that recommended inclusion of only five mouzas to the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) as against the demand for 396 by the hill leaders.
It was assured to the GTA that more areas from the Terai, Dooars and plains would be added to the existing GTA.
"We had a long meeting with the CM where the government said a fact verification committee will be set up to scrutinize the Justice Shymal Sen report. Also present were ministers like Partha Chattopadhayay, Amit Mitra, Manish Gupta and Subrata Mukherjee besides the chief secretary and home secretary," Giri told reporters.
He said the government offered to set up the new committee though they have demanded absolute scrapping of the Justice Shymal Sen report.
He said the new committee will be headed by some secretary and comprise three members.
Darjeeling, the queen of Hills, is witnessing fresh turmoil with the GJM last week rejecting outright the recommendations of the committee headed by the retired judge that allocated only five mouzas to the GTA.
The GTA was formed in July last year replacing the previous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGCH).
GJM earlier said from July 2 to 4, they would observe Darjeeling shutdown and on July 17 they will burn the copies of the GTA agreement signed on July 18, 2011.
GJM also said legislators of the Assembly from the region will step down en mass and they would hold a big rally on July 27.
GJM said the Justice Shymal Sen committee was not a committee but a one-man commission because all our members in the panel were just showpieces.
Darjeeling is a magnet for tourists and with scorching heat wave sweeping the plains, people had thronged the hills in large number this summer.
The agitation is likely to hit badly the tea and tourism industry of the hills again.
West Bengal Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh last week said the ten-member panel went by factors like contiguity and homogeneity of the population.
Mamata Banerjee has urged all to accept the recommendations since when it was formed every group had agreed to accept its recommendations.
GJM is now the principal party in the hills spearheading a separate state of Gorkhaland movement.
After the Mamata Banerjee government assumed power, a historic tripartite agreement inked in July 2011 had raised hope of peace in Darjeeling hills of West Bengal that was roiled by the renewed demand of a separate state in recent years.
With an aim to end the Gorkhaland crisis, the accord formalized the formation of the new autonomous body- GTA. It was seen as a middle ground for the administration and those calling for a separate state to caved out of the region.
The GJM had last year welcomed the agreement, but did not appear to back down from their original demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and said it was a positive movement towards independence.
In the past over three years before the GTA formation in 2011, the Himalayan mountains of Darjeeling coped with the economic fallout of tourists cancelling their holiday plans in the hills singed by the agitations and shutdowns.
The famous tea and tourism industry had also suffered as a result of the long periods of shutdown called by the GJM which said the demand for a separate state dates back to 1907.
The movement for a separate Gorkhaland claimed 1,200 lives in the 1980s during the first campaign for statehood led by hill leader Subhas Ghisingh that had resulted in limited autonomy being granted to the region and the formation of DGHC.