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Rajnath Singh Appeals For Peace in Darjeeling, GJM Feels Snubbed

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated: June 18, 2017, 7:36 PM IST
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Rajnath Singh Appeals For Peace in Darjeeling, GJM Feels Snubbed
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters during a protest in Darjeeling. (PTI Photo) (PTI6_8_2017_000249B)
Kolkata: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to protesters demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland not to resort to violence and to maintain peace in Darjeeling, which has been on the boil for the last week.

“All concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment,” Singh said.

In a series of tweets, the Home Minister said that in a democracy like India, resorting to violence would never help in finding a solution. The appeal for peace came after West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee apprised him of the situation over the phone.

“Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue. I appealed that all concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment,” he said.

But the Home Minister’s message did not go down well with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been spearheading the agitation for a separate state.

GJM leaders said the MHA should have communicated with them directly. They said that Centre does not want to take any chance by going against the states, including West Bengal, ahead of Presidential polls.

The outfit’s members said that their general secretary Roshan Giri is in Delhi to meet the government, so the timing of Singh’s appeal came as a surprise. “Roshan called up Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia in the evening and asked him to explain about MHA’s statement,” said a party leader.

Speaking to News18, Roshan Giri said, “We welcome the idea of dialogue. Only the Gorkhaland statehood demand should be discussed.”

However, a close aide of Giri said that the statement issued by MHA will certainly create a political rift between the BJP and JGM. “Already some of the GJM leaders are very angry with central government for sending forces who are beating Gorkhas who support BJP in the Hills,” the aide said.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung slammed Banerjee for spreading lies by claiming pro-Gorkhaland supporters are linked with North Eastern Insurgency Groups.

“There allegations are baseless. She is trying to mislead people. Our demand has nothing to with the insurgency groups. It is a fight for our own identity. We will not stop until and unless we achieved Gorkhaland,” he said.

Meanwhile, the agitation spread to plains in Dooars on Sunday as Morcha supporters took our rallies at several places. They also called a 12-hour bandh on Sunday.

At Chowkbazar in Darjeeling, they took out a silent rally with the bodies of GJM supporters who were killed in Sunday’s violence. Senior police officer Kiran Tamang, who was stabbed in the clash, is critical.

Protesters carried black flags and Tricolour at Chowk bazar and raised slogans demanding immediate removal of police and security personnel from Darjeeling.
First Published: June 18, 2017, 7:31 PM IST
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