Nagarkata (JPN/Bureau): The 11-day ‘padyatra’ (political march) of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), beginning on Thursday in Dooars of the restive Jalpaiguri district in North Bengal, has raised apprehensions over its possible clash with tribal groups backed by the state government.

Notwithstanding the strong resistance from the Adivasi and Bengali communities over the political march, the agitating GJM is adamant on carrying out padyatra, while the Adibashi Vikash Parishad (AVP) has called an indefinite bandh to foil the GJM program.

The district administration of Jalpaiguri has not yet given permission to GJM for the march, though.

“GJM has not given any application seeking the permission for padyatra. We are not in favour of allowing the GJM for the protest and would initiate steps accordingly,” said Commissioner of Police Anand Kumar.

It is worth mentioning that GJM chief Bimal Gurung has already announced an 11-day march between February 17 and 27. The AVP meanwhile, protesting against the spate of violence in north Bengal by GJM, has declared that tea garden and rail services would remain suspended as part of their strike.

"The GJM-sponsored violence in the tribal dominated Dooars area has forced us to call the indefinite bandh in the area from Thursday," senior Parishad leader Tez Kumar Toppo said during a regional committee meeting.

Toppo said that the district administration has been apprised about the decision of the Council. “The supporters would take the protest to streets, if required. But if the GJM would cancel its march, the AVP too would call off its strike,” he said.