GJM keen toparticipate in all-party meet,no compromise on Gorkhaland

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Darjeeling, Jun 13 (UNI) Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung has asserted that they are keen to participate in the all-party meeting in Kolkata on June 17, if the state government invites them.

Addressing an open meeting, organised by Bharatiya Gorkha ex-servicemen at the Chowrastra here last evening, the GJM supremo said, ''We are ready to participate in the meeting, if we are invited. But, our stand is clear. We want separate Gorkhaland state and nothing short of that.'' West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has called an all-party meeting at the state secretariat on June 17 to deliberate on ways to end the stalemate over the renewed demand for Gorkhaland by the GJM.

The GJM said it would participate in the all-party meeting, but made it clear that the party would not give up the demand for Gorkhaland.

Mr Gurung also condemned the violence occurring in the Hill areas, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri and called upon the people to maintain peace, unity and harmony for the greater interest of the region.

He also sent a fax to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Oppostion leader L K Advani, West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, giving details of the escalating violence in the region.

Mr Gurung called upon the people to prepare for the greater cause and requested all the tea estates in the Hills and Terai region, on strike since the past two days, to reopen.

He categorically said the GJM would sponsor the indefinite 'bandh' in the Hills from tomorrow, intensifying the statehood demand.

However, about 84 tea gardens, educational institutions and emergency supplies would not come under the purview of the bandh, Mr Gurung reminded.

Meanwhile, the buying spree among the people in the Hills continued since Wednesday evening after the GJM relaxed indefinite 'bandh' for 60 hours until 0600 hours tomorrow.

Essentials, including cooking gas, kerosene, petroleum products and vegetables, were scarce for common people and the prices of the available resources had skyrocketed.

Meanwhile, life functioned normally in Darjeeling today with all the shops and business establishments, educational institutions remaining open, following the GJM's 60-hour relaxation in the strike.

North Bengal Inspector General of Police (IGP) K L Tamta said the situation in Darjeeling was peaceful so far with no fresh incidents of violence reported from anywhere.


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