Gorkha tripartite talks conclude on cordial note

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (ANI): The third round of tripartite talks between the Central Government, the West Bengal Government and the representatives of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) was held here today.

The talks were held in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere, according to official sources.

The Central team was led by Union Home Secretary G.K.Pillai, the West Bengal Government delegation by their Chief Secretary A.K.Chakrabarty and the GJM delegation by Anmole Prasad.

It was agreed that the proposal for establishment of a Hill Council under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution would be dropped.

It was agreed, in principle, to the repeal of the DGHC Act, 1988. The repeal of the Act would be processed as soon as an alternative administrative setup/framework is finalized through mutual consultations and agreement.

The Government of India announced the appointment of an Interlocutor to carry forward the discussions held during the third round of tripartite talks and both the State Government and the GJM welcomed the same.

The GJM assured that a peaceful and conducive atmosphere would be maintained and all the parties agreed to work in a spirit of constructive cooperation to carry the talks forward.

The Central Government would also send a team to Darjeeling to review the development works in the District.

The Government of India and the Government of West Bengal proposed that as an interim measure and to restore the democratic process, the elections to the Panchayat Samitis, Gram Panchayats as well as Municipalities be allowed to be held.

The GJM stated that they would consult and revert back to the State Government.

It was informed by the Government of West Bengal that unutilized portions of the CRF and special Central assistance amounting to Rs.70 crores was lying unutilized.

It was agreed that a team of State Government officials would be sent to Darjeeling to discuss the utilization of these funds.

It was agreed that the next tripartite meeting would be held on December 21, 2009 at Darjeeling.

The last tripartite meeting between the three sides took place on December 29 last year where it was decided to take forward the talks after the Lok Sabha polls.

Since late 2007, the demand for a separate state has been started more intensely by the Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung.

This movement has vowed to create a separate state by 2010. He has called for a more non-violent form of protest by refusing to pay state taxes to the government including electricity and phone bills.

Activities for support of Gorkhaland has also been seen in areas outside Gorkhaland. The mainstream parties of Sikkim have openly supported the Gorkhaland movement and pledged solidarity. (ANI)

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