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Darjeeling Crisis: GJM Agrees to Attend All-Party Meet After Bengal Govt Sends Invitation Letter

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's letter to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) came a day after GJM Chief Bimal Gurung requested her to initiate a political dialogue to bring normalcy in the Hills.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:August 26, 2017, 7:06 PM IST
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Darjeeling Crisis: GJM Agrees to Attend All-Party Meet After Bengal Govt Sends Invitation Letter
Students wing of GJM protests for demand of Gorkhaland in Mungpoo near Darjeeling. (File photo: PTI)
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Kolkata: West Bengal government has sent a letter to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) requesting them to attend the all-party meet on August 29 at the state secretariat – 'Nabanna'.

Speaking to News18, GJM MLA, Amar Singh Rai, said, "Yesterday, we received an official letter from the Bengal government. We are happy to receive it and today we decided to attend the meet."

He said, "Five delegates led by GJM leader Binoy Tamang, Joint Secretary, Central Committee, will attend the meet. Others parties from the Hills will also be present. We are hopeful that the Centre and the state government will find an immediate solution to end the crisis in Darjeeling. Our stand will be to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland."

Mamata's letter to GJM came a day after GJM Chief Bimal Gurung requested her to initiate a political dialogue to bring normalcy in the Hills. On Friday, they had said that they will attend the meet only if they will receive an official letter from the government. Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) convener Kalyan Dewan will also attend the meet.

Hinting at the failure of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), Gurung's letter to CM reads, "No other alternative or modified bodies will do justice to our plight and apathy of being lumped with any other arrangement other than creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland. Under the current situation we request your honour to initiative a political dialogue on the long pending demand of the Gorkhas whish is Gorkhaland to help to resolve the present crisis in Darjeeling."

He said, "The two failed councils (GTA and DGHC) on Saturday should pave way for us to learn from our previous mistakes that experimental models to temporarily curb people’s aspiration for separation from West Bengal has not worked in the past nor the present. In the tripartite MoU – GTA was only to be an interim arrangement and that we have not dropped our demand for Gorkhaland."

For the last two months, Darjeeling is under indefinite strike as Morcha leaders are demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland. Series of violent protests reported in these two months and several people were killed in clashes with the police.

On August 13, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other stakeholders to end the deadlock in the Hills.
| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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