Buddha meets GJM leaders,tempers calm

The Left Front government has sent a clear signal to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) that their agitation should be confined to the Hills and all matters pertaining to their demand for a Gorkhaland should be put forth at the forum of the ongoing tripartite talks.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:January 22, 2009 2:29 am

The Left Front government has sent a clear signal to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) that their agitation should be confined to the Hills and all matters pertaining to their demand for a Gorkhaland should be put forth at the forum of the ongoing tripartite talks.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee conveyed his government’s position to a seven-member GJM delegation,which he met on Wednesday.

The meeting,held at the Writers’ Buildings and convened at the CM’s invitation to resolve the ongoing crisis in Jalpaiguri district’s Dooars region,lasted 90 minutes.

While the Morcha delegation was led by general secretary Roshan Giri,the

CM was accompanied by chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti,home secretary Ardhendu Sen and secretary to CM Subhesh Das. The GJM had initially rejected the CM’s invite on January 19.

Emerging from the meeting,Chakrabarti said the GJM leaders had agreed with the CM’s request that no further public meetings and rallies would be held in the Dooars.

“The CM said more meetings and rallies would only worsen the law and order situation in Nagrakata,Malbazar and adjoining areas. He said permission to hold public meetings in the Terai and the Dooars would be given to the Morcha once the state government was satisfied that normalcy had been restored,although no timeframe has been specified for this. It was made clear that no unlawful activities would be tolerated,” Chakrabarti said.

While Morcha agreed to desist from further agitation in the plains,the three hill sub-divisions of adjoining Darjeeling continue to be in a limbo. All government offices remained closed and development work halted,with violence showing no signs of abating.

“The Darjeeling police have made some arrests. If it is found that not enough has been done,action could be taken against the Darjeeling administration,” Chakrabarti said.

Addressing the media,Giri said the CM had heard out their demands,and assured that all “false cases” against his party’s supporters would be reviewed and if necessary withdrawn within a week.

“Bhattacharjee also assured us that poor families whose property has been damaged in the Dooars clashes would be compensated after investigation by the authorities. He said all our supporters injured in the clashes would be provided medical treatment at the government’s expense. We were requested not to hold any public meetings for the present. But we also made it clear that if we are not allowed to hold public meetings,we will attempt to lead rallies into the area. We stand firm that the Terai and the Dooars will not be deleted from Gorkhaland,” Giri said.

“The CM also pointed out that any further tension would affect the tripartite talks,” Chakrabarti said.

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