Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has urged the Centre to ensure the safety of party supremo Bimal Gurung and other top leaders to enable them to take part in a tripartite meeting proposed by the government.
Mr Gurung and several other top leaders of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have been on the run for the last one-month after cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were lodged against them for their alleged involvement in several bomb blasts in the Darjeeling Hills.
“The Centre should ensure the safety and security of Bimal Gurung and other top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, so that they are not arrested by the West Bengal police,” Gorkha Janmukti Morcha vice-president Mr Kalyan Dewan told PTI.
Terming it a part of confidence building measures, Mr Kalyan Dewan said if the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders were arrested “who will carry forward the talks?”
Meanwhile Mr Binay Tamang, the expelled Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader and chairman of the Board of Administrators of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, said the suspension of the strike on the assurance of a tripartite meeting by the Centre was nothing but a “face saver and a political gimmick” of Darjeeling BJP MP S.S. Ahluwalia and Mr Bimal Gurung.
Union Home minister Rajnath Singh had appealed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to withdraw the strike in the Darjeeling Hills for a separate Gorkhaland state and asked the Union Home secretary to convene an official-level meeting to discuss related issues.
Mr Bimal Gurung had called off the indefinite shutdown on its 104th day on September 26 in response to Mr Singh’s appeal.
“When I had called for lifting the strike, Mr Bimal Gurung opposed it. Actually he wanted some excuse for the strike to be lifted and he got this excuse from the tripartite meeting. The people of the Darjeeling Hills no longer consider need Mr Bimal Gurung as their leader,” said Mr Binay Tamang.