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  India   All India  14 Aug 2017  Rajnath asks West Bengal govt to start talks with Gorkhas

Rajnath asks West Bengal govt to start talks with Gorkhas

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 14, 2017, 1:15 am IST
Updated : Aug 14, 2017, 6:00 am IST

The GJM leader further added that the home minister had appealed to them to lift the agitation.

GJM supporters burn an effigy of west Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as they demand a separate state of Gorkhaland on Sunday in New Delhi. (Photo: Asian Age)
 GJM supporters burn an effigy of west Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as they demand a separate state of Gorkhaland on Sunday in New Delhi. (Photo: Asian Age)

New Delhi: As the ongoing agitation in Darjeeling entered its 60th day, home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday held discussions with members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) which primarily comprises of three main outfits – Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Gorkha National Liberation Front and the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist to resolve the issue.

Leaders from the three outfits were invited for a meeting by the home minister to find a solution to the prevailing situation which has paralysed life in the hill district for nearly two months now. During the meeting which lasted for about two hours, the home minister appealed to the West Bengal government to start talks with the agitating Gorkha leaders requesting them to withdraw their agitation and hunger strike. The GMCC also submitted a detailed memorandum to the home minister.

BJP’s Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia was also present during the meeting where the home minister said he was mindful of the suffering of the people in Darjeeling. “We urged him to start the process for a separate state. The state is suppressing our democratic movement. We will decide the course of action for the future soon,” GJM leader Swaraj Thapa said. The GJM leader further added that the home minister had appealed to them to lift the agitation.

GMCC is the main body of different political groupings which is leading the agitation in the Darjeeling region demanding a separate state and had sought the Centre’s intervention in the contentious issue. Interestingly, two top leaders of the GJM, Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, did not attend Sunday’s meeting. The GJM has been in power in the autonomous council for almost two decades.

The supply of essential commodities has been adversely hit in the entire Darjeeling area due to the agitation taking place since June 18 which was triggered by the West Bengal government’s decision to introduce Bengali as one of the subjects in the hill districts.

Barring medicine shops, all business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed in the region since the agitation started. The state police and central para-military forces are closely monitoring the situation and keeping a close watch on all the entry and exit points to Darjeeling and adjoining areas.

Tags: rajnath singh, gorkhaland movement coordination committee, darjeeling hills
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi