Darjeeling, July 14: Netaji Subash Chandra Bose's relative Chandra Bose is all set to mediate between the Centre, State and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to end the Darjeeling impasse. He has already initiated talks with Bimal Gurung and the Centre.
There has been a buzz doing the rounds that an interlocutor could be appointed by the Centre to resolve the Darjeeling impasse. During the 28 month long bloody agitation spearheaded by the Gorkha National Liberation Front for Gorkhaland in the 1980s, journalist Inderjit Khullar had been appointed by the Centre as an interlocutor. He later on went on to become the Member of Parliament from Darjeeling.
When questioned on this, Chandra Bose, talking to Oneindia, stated "I don't know whether I am the interlocutor or not. Time will tell. However the Union Home Ministry has asked me to mediate in the Darjeeling issue."
He said that the offer to him to mediate was not in the capacity of BJP Vice President, West Bengal, but as Chandra Bose, the grandson of Sarat Chandra Bose who was the elder brother of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.
"Our family has very close ties with Darjeeling and the Gorkhas. We used to own a house in Giddeypahar, Kurseong which has now been converted into the Netaji Museum and Netaji Institute of Asian Studies. Both my grandfathers, Netaji and Sarat Chandra Bose were interned in this house.
Netaji had written the famous Haripura Congress speech from this house in Kurseong. Gorkhas were also an integral part of the Indian National Army" stated Chandra Bose.
Netaji was interned in this house for seven months in 1936. He again spent a few days in this house in October 1937. Netaji had written to prominent Gorkha leaders pledging support to the demand of a separate administrative arrangement for the Darjeeling Hills. The letters are displayed in the Netaji Museum in Kurseong.
"Peace should return to the Hills. By the day the matter is getting complicated. People are suffering. There is shortage of essential commodities including food supplies and medicines. I am trying to get the Centre, State and the agitators on the table for talks. The matter has to be resolved through dialogue. It is a difficult task but I am trying" stated Chandra Bose.
Bose claimed that has already spoken to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung. "They want a permanent solution to the Darjeeling impasse. They have vehemently opposed the police excesses that has left many dead along being labeled as terrorists by the State Government. However I am trying to make them see reason that only agitation and demonstrations will not resolve the demand. Dialogues need to be initiated" stated Bose.
He stated that the Centre honouring the federal setup of the country wants the State to sit in the talks also. "Even if Chief Minister does not want to sit for talks she can depute someone to represent the State. I am trying to talk to the State Government for talks" added Bose.
Incidentally the State Government including CM Mamata Banerjee has urged the GJM to lift the ongoing indefinite bandh and sit for talks. Morcha however has shut the doors to the State and said that they will sit with the Centre alone. The bandh hit the 30 day mark on Friday.
Interestingly the fast unto death programme of Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee which was to commence from July 15 has been put on hold. The coordination committee is a conglomeration of pro-Gorkhaland forces including the GJM.
The committee has been demanding immediate intervention by the Centre in the Darjeeling impasse. Feelers regarding call for talks by the Centre has deferred the fast unto death state coordination committee leaders.
Meanwhile a division bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatrey and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty on Friday ordered the Union Government to send 4 companies of Central Armed Police Force to the Hills within 48 hours. Already 11 companies of Central Paramilitary forces are deployed in the Hills along with the army.