Gorkha groups’ views to be sought on ‘interim setup’

August 4th, 2010 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Kolkata, Aug 3 (IANS) The West Bengal government would consider the opinion of the anti-Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Democratic Front (DF) before announcing its own views on the “interim setup” for Darjeeling suggested by the central government, a minister Tuesday said.
Briefing media persons after a meeting with representatives of the anti-GJM parties here, Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra said: “We will inform the centre about our views on the interim measures Aug 9 after taking the opinion of the DF partners.”

Besides Mishra, Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee was present in the meeting attended by the representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), the Sikkim Ekikaram Mancha and Gorkha National Liberation Front-C.K. Pradhan (GNLF-C) - at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.

Darjeeling has been on the boil for years following the demand from some hill outfits for carving out a separate Gorkhaland state out of Darjeeling and parts of its neighbouring Jalpaiguri district in the northern part of the state. GJM has been leading the Gorkhaland agitation for the last two years after cornering the Subash Ghising-led Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).

The government sought the views of the participating parties on the interim measures by Aug 6. However, no representative from either the GNLF or the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) attended the meeting, said a senior state official.

During the previous round of tripartite talks, the central government had proposed an “interim aetup” for the hills to give some more power to the hill governing body, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

“The parties said people of Darjeeling are of the opinion that an interim measure can’t be the final solution to the crisis. They want peace and democracy be restored first,” said Mishra.

Asked if the state government will request the central government to invite these parties in the next round of tripartite talks, the health minister said “it depends on the centre”.

“To break the deadlock, a democratic environment should be created in the hills first. To create a democratic environment, the murderers of ABGL president Madan Tamang should be arrested,” ABGL working president Dawa Sherpa said.

“Not even a single person named in the FIR in the Tamang murder case could be arrested. We have raised the issue today. The state home secretary said the police would try best to nab them,” Sherpa maintained.

Representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Trinamool Congress came to the Writers’ Buildings but did not take part in the meeting.

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