12 day-relaxation on bandh in Darjeeling: GJM Joint Secy

01 September, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Despite being in hiding Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung seemed to be firmly in control in the hills

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has called for the indefinite bandh to be suspended for 12 days till September 12.

Binay Tamang also said that the next step of the movement will be decided after their meeting on September 12 in Uttarkanya.

Nearly 11 weeks into the Darjeeling shutdown, three major political parties in the hills held talks with the West Bengal government at the State Secretariat "Nabanna" building here on Tuesday, reviving fresh hopes that the deadlock may be resolved.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had described the August 29 meeting held at the state secretariat as "positive and cordial" and had said the dialogue process will continue to restore peace and normalcy.

On Tuesday, Gorkha leaders from three parties met chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata to start a "political dialogue" over the demands of the Nepali-speaking community in West Bengal. Most of the central committee members were not privy to the decision - even I was not informed. Schools, colleges and office were closed for a long time. Then we would ask her to give us a no -objection letter and we will settle the matter with the central government.

12 day-relaxation on bandh in Darjeeling: GJM Joint Secy
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha splits into two parts after its leader suspends 'indefinite strike' in Darjeeling

Incidentally Mr Tamang, whose house was allegedly ransacked by the security forces during a search operation in the midnight recently, was escorted by the securitymen of state police right from the Bagdogra airport to Kurseong. "We will try to resolve the Gorkhaland issue through discussion". Food and other supplies are critical even in the Tea gardens now.

The divide in GJM is over the question of withdrawing the indefinite strike in the hills.

But, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said the bandh will continue and there is no question of withdrawing it. "Gurung has said the strike will continue and there is no question of withdrawing it", Giri claimed. Gurung said a delegation will be sent to Delhi to talks with central government and a decision will be taken. "He (Tamang) has no authority to take a decision on shutdown", Bimal Gurung said from an undisclosed location.

Gurung had earlier reacted sharply to the first round of talks between the state government and Gorkha leaders, reiterating that a separate Gorkhaland state shall remain the single-point agenda of the party.

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