Following Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has withdrawn the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills which had continued for 104 days. The GJM had called indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills to demand a separate state ‘Gorkhaland’. On Tuesday, GJM Chief Bimal Gurung issued an audio message from an undisclosed location announcing his party’s decision to withdraw the bandh. The bandh will be withdrawn from 6 am on Wednesday.
The announcement comes hours after Rajnath Singh made an appeal to the GJM leadership to withdraw the indefinite shutdown and also convened a meeting to resolve the unrest in the Darjeeling hills. “I have asked the Home Secretary to convene an official level meeting in the Home Ministry within a fortnight to discuss all related issues. I also appeal to the GJM and its leader Shri Bimal Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh and to help a conducive atmosphere for allowing normalcy to return to the area, particularly in view of the festive season,” the Union Home Minister said in his appeal.
Reacting to the development, West Bengal Tourism Minister, Goutam Deb said that the situation in the Darjeeling hills had become normal and the Union Home Minister helped GJM leaders save their faces. “Under the leadership of our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the situation had turned normal in the hills. All important services were resumed in the hills. On Tuesday Union Home Minister helped GJM leaders save their faces by convening a meeting with them to resolve the issue. BJP and the central government had a tactical adjustment with Bimal Gurung and company and today’s development is a proof of that. However, no meeting should take place without the participation of the state government,” Deb said.
Demanding a separate state “Gorkhaland”, GJM had called for an indefinite shutdown on June 15 in Darjeeling hills and asked the Centre to convene a tripartite meeting resolve the issue.