Free Press Journal

Centre urged to initiate dialogue on Darjeeling stir


Darjeeling : The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) on Saturday urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders to restore normalcy in Darjeeling hills, where an indefinite shutdown entered its 59th day.

The strike in the hills will continue until and unless a “positive step” is taken to restore normalcy by the Centre, GMCC, the apex body of 30 hill parties participating in the stir for a separate Gorkhaland, stated at an emergency meeting in Kalimpong.

Unconfimed reports said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has agreed to hold a meeting with the Gorkha leaders in Delhi.

“We urge the central government to initiate a dialogue process so that normalcy can be restored in

the hills. If the state government is part of that process, we have no problems,” GMCC convenor Kalyan Dewan said.

The committee condemned the recent arrests made by the police and the area domination marches in the hills during the past few days. Asked whether any decision had been taken on relaxing the shutdown on Independence Day, Dewan said, “It will be decided

very soon after discussing it with all the hill parties and GJM president Bimal Gurung. But the people of the hills are patriots and we will celebrate Independence Day. Every household will hoist the national flag and we will take out rallies carrying the tricolor.”

Sources said sharp differences have cropped up between Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other hill parties in the GMCC over continuing with the indefinite shutdown.