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Darjeeling crisis worsens as West Bengal govt & GJM refuse to bend

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 22 June 2017, 22:07 IST
(Diptendu Dutta/AFP)

 

The West Bengal government has urged the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to sit down and resolve the impasse in the Darjeeling hills, at the all party meeting held in Siliguri.

 

However, the GJM, which did not participate in the meeting, stuck to its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland said that it had nothing to discuss.

 

Meanwhile on Thursday Darjeeling police lodged an FIR against GJM chief Bimal Gurung and his wife Asha Gurung in connection with the death of three GJM workers in Singhmari a few days back.

 

The FIR mentioned the names of Gurung, his wife and 24 other GJM members for causing the deaths of 3 GJM supporters during the protests. Apparently, the police is alleging that the three died due to bullets fired by GJM workers.

 

However, GJM wants a CBI inquiry into the incident.

 

Speaking to Catch, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “We want a CBI inquiry into this case as wel believe the state government is putting false charges on us. Why should we kill our own people?”

 

GJM functionary Binoy Tamang said that there is no question of dialogue with the state government.

 

“We will only speak to the Center and push for Gorkhaland,” he said.

 

The all party meeting didn't go according to the state government's expectations, as most Opposition parties stayed away.

 

“The all party meeting would have been successful if all parties parties had come. They should meet again. I also urge GJM to sit and discuss their problems with us, instead of resorting to violence,” said home secretary Moloy De.

 

Except the ruling Trinamool Congress, the meeting was attended only by smaller parties like BSP and NCP. BJP, Congress and CPI(M) stayed away.

 

Meanwhile Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has written to the Centre, expressing his support for Gorkhaland. But with the impasse continuing, there is likely to be more violence.

 

 

On Thursday the district administration of Darjeeling issued an order that internet services and television will be suspended till 27 June , as the situation in the hills is yet to return to normal. No television channels will be broadcasted in the hills till June 27 due to the continuing agitation by GJM.

 

According to Tamang, they will seek legal opinion on this matter.

 

According to Ashok Bhattacharya, CPI(M) leader told Catch News over phone “The all party meeting does not make any sense as chief minister Mamata Banerjee is not present. Moreover the GJMM who is supposed to be the main focus of the entire Darjeeling impasse, did not participate in the meeting . So it’s useless to call a meeting . We feel that a tripartite meeting should be convened immediately to resolve the Darjeeling impasse.”

 

 

Congress leader Abdul Mannan said “ We will sent a delegation to Darjeeling to assess the situation , following which we will speak to the state government on the matter.”

 

According to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh,, “How can an all party meeting be held without the presence of the chief minister? This is an eye-wash. It proves how sincere the state government is to resolve the crisis”.

 

On Thursday the Centre sent a letter to the state government saying that they won’t sent additional troops to Darjeeling as the situation may worsen because of it.

 

Partha Chatterjee, state parliamentary affairs minister said “We don’t know why the Center suddenly did not want to deploy additional Central forces in the hills and we feel that the situation in the hills is not normal and Central forces are required to restore normalcy in the hills.”

 

 

First published: 22 June 2017, 22:07 IST
 
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