Gorkha group demands interim council by 2011

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Sukna (West Bengal), Mar 28 (ANI): Bimal Gurung, the chief of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), has said that an interim council should be set up by 2011.

Addressing a news conference here on Saturday, Gurung said: "The GJM has demanded an interim council for the Darjeeling hills to counter the problems before the 2011 assembly elections in West Bengal."

"It would be wrong to say we are not demanding for it. The demand for Gorkhaland is in process. But right now, the term which we have set is the year 2011. So, as per our agreement with the government, we are talking about the interim council," he said. Gurung appealed the GJM activists to keep their struggle non-violent.

"The Bengal Government is trying to involve our men in some conspiracy and put them behind the bars. I have come here to assure and convince my members to work in a proper way and stay away from rioting."

During the fifth round of tripartite talks with the Central and State Governments held in New Delhi this month, the GJM had sought an interim council, the Gorkha Regional Authority, prior to the creation of a separate state.

The Gorkhaland Movement has taken a different turn after the GJM proposed the establishment of an interim council till December 31, 2011, as a precursor to the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state.

The Gorkhaland Regional Authority seeks to have legislative powers on matters such as town and country planning, culture and the mining of certain minerals.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million. (ANI)

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