Gorkha agitators meet Union Home Minister, press for tripartite talks
Darjeeling, September 8, 2017: A joint team of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) met Union Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him to initiate tripartite talks to resolve the Darjeeling impasse.
Reports state that Rajnath Singh expressed doubts that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee would be keen on tripartite talks.
The Minister apprised the visiting team that it is the ambit of the State Government to call for tripartite talks. He however assured the visiting team that he would request the West Bengal Chief Minister to do so.
GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri in a press release stated that after a meeting on 29th August, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had clarified that the issue of statehood is not within the ambit of the State Government. "Hence the GJM members urged Minister Rajnath Singh to begin the process of tripartite talks" stated GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri.
Acknowledging that an atmosphere of peace has to be created, the GJM members requested the Union Home Minister to speak to West Bengal Chief Minister to halt the continuous raids on GJM leaders and supporters.
Incidentally key GJM leaders including Bimal Gurung have been implicated in multiple cases relating to explosions in Hills and have been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA.) There ate Look out notices issued by the West Bengal CID against Gurung and Giri also.
"The GJM team apprised the Union Home Minister that even today, police disrupted a street corner meeting in the Darjeeling Chowk Bazar and rained batons on the crowd. Tear gas shells were also burst injuring many. The police high handedness in Darjeeling Hills was proving to be a hurdle in creating a conducive atmosphere" stated Giri.
The GJM conveyed to the Union Home Minister the intention of the party to attend bipartite talks called by the Chief Minister in Uttarkanya in Siliguri on September 12.
Incidentally a GJM and GMCC team had met Minister Singh on August 13 also. The Minister then had asked the agitators to sit in a meeting with the State Government.
He had also appealed to the delegation to restore peace and normalcy by withdrawing the indefinite bandh and the fast unto death.
Though the fast unto death was immediately lifted the by GJM on August 13, they continued with the bandh.
The GJM preferred to remain silent on the bandh issue following Friday's meeting with the Union Home Minister. The indefinite bandh hit the 86thday mark on Friday. The meeting had taken place at 5pm in Minister Singh's residential office.