Govt officials

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Darjeeling, Apr 15 (UNI) The indefinite ''bandh'' in all central and state government offices in three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling entered the second day today.

A solution to the current impasse between the government and GJM leadership was expected as a crucial meeting was being held now in the town.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called the strike in government and semi-government offices to protest lathi charges on ex-servicemen in Siliguri and demanded for the creation of Gorkha state.

All central, state and Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council's offices have been closed since yesterday after the GJM intensified the movement for separate state in Darjeeling.

The movement, also fuelled after police used lathis and tear gas shells on a ''peaceful'' Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen march at Darjeeling more in Siliguri on April 9, that left many wounded.

Vehicular traffic, banks, post offices, water, news organisations including AIR, and markets had been exempted from the purview of bandh.

Meanwhile, a crucial meeting between the government senior officials and GJM top leadership was going on this evening, as report came in.

District magistrate Rajesh Pandey, special IG (Darjeeling) Daniel Tsering Lepcha, and SP Rahul Srivastav on behalf of the governmnet and GJM president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and party central committee member D K Pradhan were in the meeting at the Circuit House in the town.

After Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi's intervention, the GJM last night withdrew its ban on the DM and the SP. The GJM had banned their entry into the hills after police lathi charge on ex-servicemen.

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