Gorkhaland protests: GJM leaders to meet Home Minister on Sunday

Gorkhaland activists end their hunger strike

GJM leaders seek to meet Rajnath on Sunday over Gorkhaland issue

Kolkata: Gorkha leaders demanding a separate state for the Nepali-speaking community of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts to be carved out of West Bengal, got an audience with Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday.

Thapa's comments came after meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in which the latter asked the various stakeholders to find a way out to resolve the issue and, in the mean time, to lift the hunger strike. "In a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit", he said.

The BJP's Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia also attended the meeting.

According to the statement released by the home ministry, Singh has appealed the WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee to restore all civil supplies and the internet, cable tv and local channel services in the hill region.

Two top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been ruling the autonomous hill council, Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, did not attend today's meeting.

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He said that a decision with regard to calling off the agitation would be taken "in a few days after consulting our leadership and other parties".

"The Home Minister was kind enough to invite us for talks on the issue of Darjeeling that has been suffering for more than two months".

As per Thapa, Rajnath said he was well aware that the demand for a separate state has been there for a long time, adding that, at the same time, he was mindful of the Constitutional provision that guides the demand.

The GJM has maintained that setting up separate boards outside of the functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is a part of Banerjee's "divisive politics". Although no incidents of violence were reported since last night, the police and security personnel have made special security arrangements in the hills and are keeping a tight vigil to avoid any untoward incident.

The GJM and other hill parties, on the 60th day of the indefinite shutdown on Sunday, took out rallies demanding immediate intervention by the Centre to start dialogue process with all stakeholders.

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