Gorkhaland stir: Rajnath appeals to Mamata to talk to stakeholders, agitators not convinced
Union home minister Rajnath Singh urges the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other members of the GMCC, the umbrella organisation spearheading the separate Gorkhaland movement, to call off the bandh.india Updated: Aug 14, 2017 07:49 IST
Union home minister Rajnath Singh appealed to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday to “initiate a dialogue” with all stakeholders of Darjeeling, where life has been paralysed for the last 60 days due to an indefinite bandh for separate Gorkhaland state.
“I am concerned about the developments in Darjeeling and the loss of valuable lives and sufferings of people over the past 60 days, which pains me immensely,” Singh said after meeting members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) at his residence.
“Violence can never be a solution to any problem. In a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit,” he added.
Singh urged the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other members of the GMCC, the umbrella organisation spearheading the separate Gorkhaland movement, to call off the bandh.
A GMCC leader who attended the meeting said, “The home minister urged us to call off the bandh and assured us he would also talk to the state government.”
Arun Ghateney, a Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) leader who was a part of the delegation that met Singh, was not happy with the outcome. He said the GMCC leaders would return to Darjeeling and decide what to do. “Let us hope that the meeting has a positive outcome,” he added.
SS Ahluwalia, the Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling, also participated in the meeting, which was perceived in the hills as the Centre’s move to end the crisis. Sources in Delhi told HT before the meeting that the main objective was to defuse the crisis and restore normalcy.
Life has been paralysed in Darjeeling since June 15, when GJM called for an indefinite bandh after police raided its president Bimal Gurung’s office and the residence. Eight persons have already lost their lives, allegedly to the bullets of police and security forces. The administration has banned internet from June 19.