Darjeeling unrest: Rajnath Singh to meet GJM chief today

Oceane Deschanel
Agosto 13, 2017

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other stakeholders to call off the hunger strike and also withdraw the bandh call, allowing normalcy to return to Darjeeling.

The minister also appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the stakeholders to resolve the issue. "I am concerned about the developments in Darjeeling, the loss of valuable lives and the sufferings of people over the past 60 days, which pains me immensely", said Mr. Singh. "I thank the honorable Home Minister for the kind invite and hope the central government will do justice for the Gorkha's at the earliest", Gurung said.

Singh said every one is aware of the strategic importance of the locality and the challenges the region face. We urged him to initiate the process of creating a separate state... "Our demand is very much within Constitution", he said.

Darjeeling: With the indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills entering its 59th day on Saturday, the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) called an emergency meeting of all the hill-based parties to discuss the "future course of action". This was the second time the Union Minister has reached out to Gurung in the recent past. "He also added that he was mindful of constitutional provisions that guided such demands", Thapa said.

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The demand for a separate Gorkhaland resurfaced before the 2016 Assembly elections when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced several "development boards" for different communities in Darjeeling district, such as the Lepchas and Tamangs.

The demand picked up steam right after the Assembly election. Meanwhile no large-scale violence has been observed this month.

Besides the GJM, various other hill parties and intellectuals marched the streets of Darjeeling with black flags and placards demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

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