The CM alleged the GJM has violated the national code of conduct.
Kolkata: Describing the violent movement of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has a "terrorist" connection, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she would request the Centre not to encourage them (morchas).
"We formed the Gorkhaland Territorial Association (GTA) five years back with the involvement of the Centre. You have enjoyed your power for five years. Now with the elections ensuing, you are unleashing violence as you have lost credentials in the Hills. From where are they getting this strength? I will request the Centre not to encourage them. If anything happens to foreigners, the blame will not be only upon Bengal but the whole country," Mamata said at a press conference in the state secretariat Nabanna.
She alleged the GJM was receiving “foreign funding” to foment trouble in the Hills. “From where are they getting illegal money and arms? There is deep-rooted conspiracy and foreign links are very much visible. The Centre must extend full cooperation to us to restore normalcy and peace in the Hills,” the chief minister said.
Her statement assumes significance as the Centre recently turned down the state’s proposal of sending additional Central forces in Darjeeling, claiming the state should first send a report regarding the overall situation in the Hills.
Mamata, whose outburst came following an IRB commandant, Kiran Tamang, sustained critical injuries, said she has information that the GJM is maintaining contact with a northeastern terror outfit. “This is not a political agitation. This is terrorism. They have connections with northeastern underground insurgency group. They are working with a terrorist brain.” she said.
The CM alleged the GJM has violated the national code of conduct. “They were hurling bombs with national flags in their hand. Who does that? In spite of the high court declaring the bandh illegal, they are not abiding by the order,” she said.
When asked whether she is ready to hold talks with the morcha for the sake of peace, the CM said, “I am ready to hold talks if they withdraw their violent movement and illegal bandh. Talks can’t be an option when the Hills are burning. They have to come for talks in a democratic way. I am always ready to talk for the sake of peace. The Hills do not want Bimal (Bimal Gurung), they want peace,” she added.
Top officials of the 15 Hill Boards in Darjeeling met the CM at Nabanna on Saturday. A committee under Lyangsong Tamsang was formed, which declared they would advocate for the restoration of peace in the Hills. The CM directed home secretary Moloy De to hold an all-party meeting in Siliguri on June 22.
GJM spokesperson Binay Tamang, however, ruled out any possibility of talks with the state and said they will hold talks only with the Centre. “We will press for our demand of Gorkhaland.”