Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung on Sunday ruled out talks with chief minister Mamata Banerjee and said he won’t attend the GTA Sabha meeting on September 4. Banerjee is arriving on a two-day visit in Kalimpong on September 2. Soon, GTA members along with the three GJM MLAs will also resign.
“If I meet Mamata Banerjee now, I will enquire after her health. Other than that there will be no talks regarding the political issue or our demand. Gorkhaland is not an issue that concerns her.
“It is a matter pertaining to the Union government. Mamata Banerjee should not interfere in the Gorkhaland issue,” said Gurung.
Gurung explained that the Centre had talked the GJM into accepting the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) citing reasons that the Union government was not in a position to carve out Gorkhaland. “They assured us that the GTA is a temporary arrangement hence we have clearly mentioned in the Memorandum of Agreement of the GTA that we are not dropping the demand for Gorkhaland,” said Gurung.
“However, the Union government has now decided to carve out Telangana. If Telangana, why not Gorkhaland? It is more than a 100-year-old demand,” said Gurung.
Regarding Banerjee’s visit to Kalimpong, Gurung said, “We wish her all the best. Let her continue with her programme and we will continue with ours. On September 2 and 3, we have given a call for Ghar Bhitra Janta (public to remain indoors.)”
Gurung made it clear that the GJM would not participate in the GTA Sabha meeting on September 4. “Let them first release the 810 GJM supporters and leaders they have arrested, then only will we take part. We are anticipating a major crackdown by the police and central forces after September 4.
“However we will not back out. Let them fill all the jails of Bengal with our supporters, the agitation will still continue” said Gurung.
He said that in the next phase of agitation Gorkha ex-servicemen will take out protest rallies sporting black Nepali topis (caps) and black bands covering their mouths. Even the student agitation will continue.
“Very soon the GTA members and the 3 GJM MLAs will also resign. We will also launch a cultural agitation where the demand of Gorkhaland will be raised by men and women dressed in traditional attire.”
Meanwhile, the ongoing “Shanti Dharna” (Demons tration for peace) in Kalimpong was lifted on Sunday.
People of the Lepcha community under the banner of ‘Hill people’ were sitting in a ‘peace protest’ at the triangular park near the Kalimpong police station demanding the restoration of normalcy and peace in the Hills