Gorkha group meets home minister on Gorkhaland demand

June 24th, 2008 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shivraj Patil

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) A four-member delegation of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which is demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland in northern West Bengal, met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil here Tuesday to discuss the issue. The delegation, led by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, submitted a memorandum in support of its demands to Patil. The minister said that the issues raised by the GJM should be “resolved through dialogue in a peaceful manner with the state (West Bengal),” a home ministry official said.

“If any cooperation is needed, the union government may help the state and others also if such cooperation is asked for. He emphasized the need to maintain peace and free movement of essential commodities in the region,” the spokesman said.

Senior officers of the ministry, including special secretary (internal security) M.L. Kumawat, were present during the meeting.

The GJM, led by Bimal Gurung, has been agitating for the past few months to press its demand for a separate state for the Darjeeling Hills. Gurung rejected the earlier proposal of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) for recognition of the region under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution, which would ensure direct flow of development funds from the union government and more autonomy to the region.

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