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Govt agrees for talks as GJM refuses to budge

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 15, 2009

DARJEELING: The Centre on Tuesday offered to hold fresh talks on Darjeeling as Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM),
spearheading stir for a separate Gorkhaland state, deployed its ‘‘police wing’’ to enforce its indefinite strike in the
North Bengal hills.

In Kolkata, state chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said the Centre had proposed to hold a tripartite meeting either on August 24 or on August 26. ‘‘The Union home ministry has asked GJM to call off its bandh,’’ he added.

But in Darjeeling, GJM chief Bimal Gurung told reporters that they wouldn’t lift the bandh until such talks yield ‘‘positive results’’. ‘‘We have not yet got any communication on the meeting,’’ he said.
Gurung said, ‘‘A mere invitation for talks is not enough for calling off the strike.

We’re betrayed in the past. We’ll think of lifting the bandh only if the meetting yields positive results.’’

He said GJM would attend future talks if they were confined only to the Gorkhaland demand.
‘‘This time, we want political dialogue focussing only on Gorkhaland,’’ he said.

All through the day, over 11,000 members of Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP), GJM’s police wing, took control of the entire hills, patrolling each and every lanes and bylanes. ‘‘Cops seem to have made a retreat. We can’t find them,’’ said a local from Singhamari.

The bandh, which began on Monday afternoon, was complete across the hills, choking all supply routes to Sikkim.

Initially, GJM had called the bandh seeking transfer of IG (North Bengal) K L Tamta, additional SP (headquarters) Akhilesh Chaturvedi and the Kurseong SDPO and an inquiry into last week’s police-GJM clashes at Panighatta, a foothill settlement.

Source: The Times Of India

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