Darjeeling: The GJM-led Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) yesterday decided to put on hold its separatist movement in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills till October 20.
Announcing the decision, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said the agitation was suspended to facilitate tripartite talks on the Gorkhaland issue assured by central government.
“The GJAC today decided to put on hold our agitation for a separate state till Oct 20th. This is in deference to the appeal by union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as a prerequisite for tripartite talks on the statehood issue. The condition set is that the talks should be held by October 20,” said Gurung in a Facebook post. Criticising the Mamata Banerjee-led state government for its “hostile and confrontationist attitude”, Gurung however said he was expecting cooperation from the Trinamool Congress regime for the tripartite dialogue.
Following a meeting with a GJM delegation earlier this month, Shinde had assured convening of tripartite talks provided the Gorkha outfit withdrew its agitation which has paralysed life in Darjeeling since August 3. The Banerjee government has adopted a tough posture and arrested hundreds of GJM supporters and leaders. The government earlier accused the central government of “adding fuel to fire” following Shinde’s meet with the Gorkha leaders.
The Gorkha outfit, which has been carrying out its agitation under different nomenclatures following a court declaring the shutdown in hills as “illegal”, said it would organise a sit-in demonstration in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong from Septmeber 13 in traditional attire. IANS