BJP is the first party to send its delegation to the Hills, following the withdrawal of the indefinite shutdown over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
“Binay Tamang should have raised the Gorkhaland issue. He is a traitor. Why demand the removal of cases (against GJM leaders)?” asked Gurung.
Asserting that her government wants a “permanent solution” to the impasse in the Hills, Mamata exhorted the Hill parties to call off their indefinite strike and restore normalcy.
A statement issued by the GJM after the meeting said that as CM Mamata Banerjee had said that the Gorkhaland issue was beyond state government’s purview, the leaders urged Singh to begin the process of tripartite talks.
This comes 80 days after the GJM called an indefinite strike in the Hills over its demand of Gorkhaland and two days after the Hill parties, including a GJM delegation led by Tamang, met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) took out rallies in various parts of the hills during the day demanding restoration of Internet services, which remain suspended in the hills since June 18 and an immediate withdrawal of police forces from Darjeeling.
Sources said that though they suspect Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders behind the explosion, a breakthrough in the case will only be achieved after the police are able to identify the two motorcycle-borne miscreants captured in the CCTV cameras near the police station.
After Home Minister Rajnath Singh met leaders of the Gorkhaland statehood movement on August 12, the ministry has been urging the West Bengal government to initiate a dialogue with them.
Chamling said it is common knowledge that the state has been suffering for the last 33 years due to Gorkhaland agitation remains totally cut-off and isolated when bandhs are called by political parties in Bengal and added that the state has lost more than Rs 60,000 crore.
“Violence can never be a solution to any problem. In a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said. He also appealed to the people of Darjeeling to display sensitivity, and also keep in mind their civic responsibilities.
After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comments, Left Front MLAs walked out of the Assembly. According to PTI, Speaker Biman Banerjee said that by staging a walkout, the CPM and other Left members failed to show political courtesy.
“Whatever happens, everyone should remember that I am ready to give up my life but I will never support dividing (the state) into parts. I love the hills like all other districts of West Bengal. But people must remember that the hills are a part of West Bengal and will remain so in the future,” Mamata Banerjee said.
D P Maheshwari said tea workers have lost 48 days of wages, which will amount to around Rs 13,000 for each workers, due to the stir in the hills. According to industry estimates there are some 55,000 permanent and 15,000 contract workers working in the tea gardens.
“We have sought a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The indefinite shutdown has entered its 47th day, which is the longest-ever shutdown in the history of Darjeeling. The Centre needs to take concrete action,” Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh president Sukhman Moktan said.
Majeed Memon said the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has taken a violent turn and has been going on for almost eight weeks. He said the people were suffering due to shortage of essential items like water and food.