GJM honours Rajnath’s appeal; calls off 100-day old stir in Darjeeling Hills
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 27-Sep-2017


Darjeeling, Sept 27: Honouring the appeal made by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has withdrawn its 100-day-old stir in the picturesque Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal.

The GJM under the leadership of its president Bimal Gurung has been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland in the hills.

Talking to journalists, Gurung said that the GJM strike would be withdrawn from Wednesday morning and situation would be back on the rails again.

It may be mentioned that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had appealed to the GJM leadership to withdraw the bandh and pave the way to resolve the issue through a meaningful dialogue. Honouring this appeal the GJM decided to call off bandh.

Rajnath Singh had said that he had directed Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to convene an official-level meeting in the Ministry within 15 days to discuss all the issues related to the issue of Darjeeling Hills.

“Eleven precious lives have been lost so far, several have been injured and the entire people of Darjeeling hills have suffered a lot since the strike. I have been pained immensely by what has happened in Darjeeling hills,” a press statement issued by the PIB quoted the Home Minister as saying.

The GJM has been demanding that a tripartite dialogue involving the Centre, State and the GJM be started for the strike to be lifted.

While there was no direct assurance of tripartite talks by the Centre, the proposal of an official-level meeting was enough for the GJM.

Pressure was mounting on the leadership to call off the strike as markets, tea gardens, markets and other commercial installations were slowly opening in the hills.

The shutdown of administrative offices was announced on June 12 and on June 15 the GJM gave a call for a complete shutdown when police raided the house of Bimal Gurung.

The 100-day shutdown has brought the life and livelihood of people in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts to a grinding halt.

In the past three months, the hills also witnessed several incidents of violence as clashes broke out between Gorkhaland supporters and police.

Two rounds of talks with the West Bengal government and hill parties on August 29 and September 12 failed to break the deadlock.

Meanwhile during the day the State government restored Internet services in the hills.

The government has been claiming that “normalcy in the hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong has been restored with active participation of the residents of the two districts.”