The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha,spearheading a campaign for a separate state,on Monday suspended its indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills till August 17 to create a cordial atmosphere ahead of the tripartite talks on August 11 in Delhi.
The calling off of the strike was expected after the GJM recently lifted blockades of NH-31A,the lifeline for Sikkim,and relaxed the bandh for a few hours every day.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said the decision to suspend the bandh,announced by its president Bimal Gurung,was taken in response to the request by the Centre,state government and other quarters.
This is a goodwill gesture. We want to show that we want the talks to happen. We will see the outcome of the talks and act accordingly, Giri said.
He said their demand for the transfer of senior police officials,including IG (north Bengal) K L Tamta,for the lathicharge and police highhandedness on GJM supporters at Panighatta on July 10 still stands.
Gurung announced the suspension of the bandh at a programme marking the shahid divas to pay homage to 1202 people killed in the Gorkhaland stir in the Darjeeling hills in late 80s.
The GJM had called the indefinite strike on July 13,crippling Darjeeling and its adjoining areas.
State Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee welcomed the move.
People in the Hills are not interested in continuous bandh, said Bhattacharjee,who is also the CPM MLA from Siliguri.