GJM rejects CM's fresh offer for talks, Gorkha to raise own force

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Darjeeling/Siliguri, Jun 19 (UNI) Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, spearheading an indefinite strike for Gorkhaland state in Darjeeling, today rejected West Bengal Chief Minsiter's fresh offer for talks and decided to raise its "peace keeping force" in the hills.

"We have heard the Chief Minister's latest offer, though we have not received such invitation till now. But the fact is we will not sit in the 'bipartite' meeting on Darjeeling issue," GJM spokesman Binay Tamang told UNI.

The rejection came a day after Chief Minister Buddadeb Bhattacharjee wrote a letter inviting GJM leadership including Mr Bimal Gurung to come in Kolkata and discuss issues related to the Darjeeling crisis.

The Chief Minister's letter followed a consensus in the all party meet in Kolkata resolving to continue dialogue on Darjeeling's development.

This was second rejection from the GJM to meet the Chief Minister. The party had also rejected June 18 meeting at Wrtiers' Buildings'.

"We will talk only in a tri-partite meeting if the Union government invites us and that too on statehood issue for Gorkhas", Mr Tamang said, who is also a GJM central committee member.

"The ball is now on the central court since the Chief Minister as well as the GJM demanded tri-partite meeting on Darjeeling," he said adding the "current indefinite bandh that began on Monday evening would be on force till further order." The GJM yesterday issued a notice calling its members to participate in the recruitment for "Gorkhaland Personnel" beginning from June 22 at Lebong. This was approved at the GJM's central committee meeting in Darjeeling yesterday.

Mr Tamang said the recruitment for 2000 personnel would be held in all three hill sub-divisions- Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in phases.

"Initial plan is to raise three units of Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) comprising two 700-men and one 600-men units with monthly honorium", Mr Tamang said adding the recruitment would continue until August 15.

''Initial plan was to name Gorkhland Police, but the proposal was not approved in the central committee which preferred to Gorkhaland Personnel,'' he said.

The plan reminds of Gorkha Volunteer Cell (GVC) of Subash Ghisingh's GNLF during late 80s violent agitations, which was disbanded after 1988 Darjeelng Accord.

The GJM consituted an advisory committee for raising the GLP, he said adding "the GLP would work as RSS cadres. Besides keeping a watch on movement of people, it would also help tourists to get entry into the hills and safe passage.'' The ex-servicemen would undertake crash course for six weeks for the new recruites, he added.

After the GJM notice on recruitment of its own force, the local administration refused to comment saying that it had already apprised the matter to the state administration.

Meanwhile, the indefinite bandh that began on Monday evening paralysed the hills and disconnected neighbouring Sikkim from the rest of the world. GJM volunteers put up pickets at Rangpo and Melli to prevent vehicles move beyond Sikkim.


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