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Darjeeling a Part of Bengal But Will Find a Permanent Solution, Says Mamata Banerjee

After the all-party meet at the mini secretariat at Uttarkanya in Siliguri, she said, “We will immediately restore the public distribution system. We want the bandh to be withdrawn fully and normalcy to be restored as soon as possible. The process of dialogue will continue.”

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 12, 2017, 11:28 PM IST
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Darjeeling a Part of Bengal But Will Find a Permanent Solution, Says Mamata Banerjee
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the Darjeeling Hills were a part of West Bengal, but the state government will think of a permanent solution for Gorkhas.

After the all-party meet at the mini secretariat at Uttarkanya in Siliguri, she said, “We will immediately restore the public distribution system. We want the bandh to be withdrawn fully and normalcy to be restored as soon as possible. The process of dialogue will continue.”

“We have decided to call the owners of tea gardens immediately for a meeting to discuss pending wages, bonus for Durga Puja and so on for the workers. A GoM (Group of Ministers) will be formed for this purpose,” she said.

The Chief Secretary of the state has been asked to look into the matter of tea workers and a meeting to decide tea workers’ bonus will be held on September 14.

When asked about the demand for Gorkhaland, she said, “Every citizen has a democratic right and prerogative to protest. We want peace and normalcy to be restored. Binay Tamang (representing Gorkha Janamukti Morcha) had raised the demand for compensation for those who were killed (during agitation). We have agreed to that. They also demanded a high-level investigation for the police firing (during agitation). We have accepted that also.”

Banerjee also announced that the next all-party meeting will be held on October 16 at Nabanna (state secretariat) in Kolkata.

When asked about the tripartite meet, she said, “At present it is not possible because most of the GTA members have resigned and we have to see how to call a tripartite meet as per law.”

Tamang, a rebel GJM leader, raised the issue of school students who suffered a lot due to the crisis in the meeting. He said, “State government should help the students of schools and colleges for their admissions. All schools will open in winters to make up for the lost time, especially Class X and XII for which winter allowances should be given to the teachers who have to teach during the winter holidays.”

He also requested the chief minister to withdraw all cases against GJM leaders at the earliest.​
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