Centre convenes second tripartite talks on Darjeeling issue

December 29th, 2008 - 12:13 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Dec 29 (ANI): The Centre has convened the second tripartite meeting to discuss the Darjeeling issue here today.

Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta will preside over the meeting. West Bengal Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb will represent the State Government while Roshan Giri will head the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) delegation.

According to sources, the GJM will place a status paper in support of fresh demand for separate state for Gorkha people.

On Sunday, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee ruled out the demand for separate state for Darjeeling.

The first meeting was held on September 8 and was attended by a 20-member delegation comprising leaders from seven outfits in the hills.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalis, have been fighting for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the hill districts of West Bengal.

However, the tribals inhabiting the foothills, - the Doars and Terai regions, have protested against the creation of Gorkhaland, claiming that they represent over 60 per cent of the population in the region.

While Doars falls under Jalpaiguri district, Terai comes under Darjeeling district dominated by the ethnic Santhals, Mahtos, Bhils, Mundas, Oraons and Nepalese.

At least 1,200 people died in the first Gorkhaland campaign in the 1980s, but protests ended a few years later after Gorkha leaders accepted limited autonomy. (ANI)

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