GJM to take part in all-party meeting, called by CM

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Kolkata, Jun 12 (UNI) The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM), agitating for separate statehood, today said it would participate in the all-party meeting to be held on June 17, but made it clear that the party would not give up the demand for Gorkhaland.

''We will attend the all-party meeting, if it is without any pre-condition. But we shall not budge from our stand on Gorkhaland,'' GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told UNI over telephone.

With the situation in Darjeeling district turning for the worse, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today called a meeting of all political parties to find out ways to break the stalemate over the demand for Gorkhaland.

The GJM, led by its president Bimal Gurung and Mr Giri, had been demanding a separate state comprising three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district and the Siliguri and Dooars areas in the foothills.

However, rejecting it, the Chief Minister asked the GJM to come to the negotiation table giving up the statehood demand.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister and Pradesh Congress president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also said yesterday that the demand for a separate state was not acceptable.

But tension continued to grip the Darjeeling hills, witnessing an indefinite shutdown, called by the GJM in support of its demand, while violence spiralled in Siliguri and its adjacent areas in the plains with sporadic clashes between ethnic groups taking place.

Yesterday eight tourists were injured when GJM supporters attacked their cars, besides burning a vehicle and putting up road blockade in the Malbazar area in the foothills.

Incidents of clashes took place near Siliguri also forcing the administration to send SSB personnel in the area today.

Mr Giri, however, alleged that CPI(M) workers had attacked and beaten up GJM supporters and ransacked their houses in Siliguri.

He said the party had appealed to the Prime Minister, the West Bengal Governor and the Leader of the Opposition seeking their intervention.

UNI KDG SJC AKJ RAI1921

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