Hills and Plains limping back to normal; Patrolling continues

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Darjeeling/Siliguri, Jun 14 (UNI) Siliguri and its adjoining areas, witness to escalating ethnic violence, were gradually limping back to normal even as the CRPF and the SSB were continuing patrolling today to thwart any untoward incident.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), spearheading the Gorkhaland demand, had relaxed its indefinite strike till Monday, while the Amra Bangali, a political outfit protesting division of West Bengal, and the Jana Jagaran, a newly launched common platform to protest the demand for statehood, withdrew the indefinite economic blockade.

However, six companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two companies of Sasasthra Seema Bal (SSB) were continuing patrolling in Siliguri and its adjoining areas to instil confidence among the people and ease tension.

Yesterday, GJM president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and publicity secretary Binay Tamang categorically turned down Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhatacharjee's call for a meeting on June 18, stating that they wanted a tripartite meeting involving the Centre, the State Government and the GJM.

Mr Gurung, however, made it clear that they might again resort to the indefinite strike after Monday depending on the situation and development and demanded immediate arrest of those responsible for Thursday's incident in Siliguri.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang today strongly pitched for holding an all-party meet on the Gorkhaland issue in Darjeeling itself.

UNI XC SJC KLC1216

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