Kolkata: An eight-member team of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday and urged him to initiate the process for the formation of Gorkhaland as Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had said the matter falls under Centre’s purview.
The delegates urged Singh to speak to Mamata to stop the massive crackdown on their leaders. They said that the police action against GJM leaders, including its chief Bimal Gurung, is hampering the peace process in the Hills.
The delegation further said that GJM is willing to attend the all-party meet on Gorkhaland issue called by the Bengal government on September 12 in Siliguri.
The GJM said reminded Singh that it was because of him that they agreed to sit for talks with the state government. They complained that despite being open to dialogue, police continues to beat up Gorkha leaders who are “demanding a separate state in a democratic manner.”
“It is not possible for us to withdraw the demand of separate state as the majority of the people in the Hills want Gorkhaland,” they told the home minister.
Bimal Gurung was also supposed to attend Friday’s meeting, but had to send a team of Morcha leaders instead after being hunted by the West Bengal police.
The GJM Chief – who fled Bengal and believed to be hiding in Sikkim – in an audio message said, “The Bengal government has framed me on several charges to suppress my voice. The charges are baseless. We want the central government to intervene as we have already met the state government (as advised by the Centre) and the result is unsatisfactory.”
For the last three months, Darjeeling has been witnessing an indefinite strike for the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland. A series of violent protests rocked the state and several people were killed in clashes with the police.
Friday’s meeting was attended by Rohit Sharma (MLA Kurseong), Rooshan Giri (GJM General Secretary), Sarita Rai (MLA Kalimpong), Swaraj Thapa (Central Committee member of GJM), Ashok Lama (Central Committee member, Dooars), Arun Ghatani (Communist Party Revolutionary Marxist), Biplov Rai (Akhil Bhartiya Gorkha League) and Dawa Pakhrin (Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha).