The Sikkim government may sue West Bengal for its alleged economic losses because of the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling. “We are planning to approach the Supreme Court next week,” Member of Parliament PD Rai told The Indian Express on Saturday.
Rai accused the West Bengal government of deliberately preventing supply of essential goods to Sikkim because of its support to the movement. He said the police stopped trucks from entering the state via National Highway 10 that connects Siliguri in North Bengal to Gangtok. Earlier this week, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had condemned the attacks on vehicles from Sikkim on the highway, reported NDTV.
“The circumstances which have been created are unconstitutional… Just because we have a particular stand, which has been a known stand for many years, this is being done,” Rai told the English daily. He added that the state’s cereals import has been hit while the ATMs are running dry. Rai also fears that their medical supplies will soon fall short. “The highway should have been protected by paramilitary to ensure that essential goods reach us,” he said.
The MP pegged the losses in the last 20 days since the agitation began at Rs 200 crore. “Over the past 30 years, Sikkim has incurred losses worth Rs 60,000 crore due to such disruptions. We want the West Bengal government to make good on these losses,” he added.
The Darjeeling unrest began after Banerjee had announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. Though she had said that hill districts will be exempted from the rule, the GJM began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.