Kolkata: The Darjeeling impasse is likely to end soon as Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung on Monday appealed to all the youth morcha leaders to call off their hunger strike after his meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday.
“Tomorrow is India’s 70th Independence Day and I am also of the view that the home minister’s appeal should be respected and the hunger strike should be withdrawn. I, therefore, direct Yuva Morcha leaders to call off the hunger strike today,” he said.
Gurung, however, made it clear that they will not accept anything short of their demand of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
“On Sunday, we along with the representatives of Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee had a meeting with the home minister. We gave our view point that nothing short of creating of a separate sate of Gorkhaland can help the people of Darjeeling hills, Dooars and Terai achieve their dreams,” he added.
Rajnath Singh has also appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the GJM and other stakeholders to end the deadlock in the hills.
“The Bengal state government should restore all civil supplies and also restore internet services, Cable TV and local channels. I also appeal to the people of Darjeeling to display sensitivity, and also keep in mind their civic responsibilities. The problem can be resolved only through talk,” he said.
“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,” Rajnath had said.
While highlighting the strategic location of Darjeeling, he had said, “We all are aware of the strategic importance of the locality and the challenges that we face in the region. Keeping in mind the national, as well as the interest of Gorkha brothers and sisters, I appeal to GJM and all other stakeholders to call off the hunger strike, and also to withdraw the bandh call, allowing normalcy to return to the area. It is a move that will help to create an atmosphere for finding a solution to the current crisis.