Centre for tripartite talks on Gorkha unrest

Centre for tripartite talks on Gorkha unrest

SAM Staff,
Under the scanner: A soldier aims with a crossbow recovered after a raid at the GJM office in Darjeeling on Thursday.

The Centre has called for tripartite talks with West Bengal and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on June 19 to end the current phase of violence in the hill district of Darjeeling.

The GJM, however, on Thursday told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that it would participate in the talks only if its demand for a separate State for Gorkhas was addressed.

The GJM also sought central intervention to bring back peace in the district and “foil” the West Bengal government’s attempt to make Bengali mandatory in schools.

The West Bengal government has requested the Centre to postpone the talks.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, who met Mr. Singh here, was accompanied by BJP MP from Darjeeling S.S. Ahluwalia.

Mr. Giri said the GJM would not participate in the June 19 tripartite meeting to discuss issues related to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and would talk only about a separate State

Mr. Giri said the State government was conspiring to suppress the democratic movement for Gorkhaland brutally by using force.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) General Secretary Rosha Giri said, “Bengali and Nepali, the languages spoken in Darjeeling, are in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution and hence, equal respect should be given to both. We will not accept the imposition of Bengali in Darjeeling.”

The GJM leader said the Home Minister had assured them that he would speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and try to find a solution.

Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia said the Mamata Banerjee government must issue an official order declaring that Bengali will not be made mandatory in Darjeeling, to assuage the feelings of the people of the hills.

He said there should be political action and a political solution to the Gorkhaland issue and the use of police force cannot be acceptable. The West Bengal government is yet to send a report on the prevailing situation in Darjeeling which has witnessed violence in the last few days.