It seems like peace in the hills is finally ringing in after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha called off an indefinite strike in the Darjeeling, from Friday till the next round of talks with the West Bengal government to be held on September 12, announced GJM convenor Binay Tamang at Darjeeling on Thursday.
The infinite shut down in the hills which reached its 78th day had disrupted peace and brought the normal life to a grinding halt. However posing a contradictory view GJM leader Roshan Giri declared that the bandh will continue. “Gurung has said the strike will continue and there is no question of withdrawing it,” Giri claimed.
“The indefinite bandh will remain suspended for 12 days from tomorrow. Shops, markets, offices, schools, tea gardens will open and transport will be on the road from 6 am tomorrow,” Tamang told reporters after the party’s central committee meeting.
In a sincere effort to put an end to the prolonged crisis in the hills, a delegation of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee On Tuesday in a bid to reach a consensus from both the ends, to restore peace in the hills. In the meeting held at Nabanna, the team of GJM leaders submitted a memorandum to the CM demanding an inquiry into the deaths of people caused due to police intervention.
During the meeting Mamata Banerjee extended an olive branch and asked the GJM leaders to withdraw protests in wake of the loss of lives and destruction caused due to violence in Darjeeling.
The meeting between the Chief Minister and the GJM trading their views on the Gorkhaland issue, no significant change is observed as yet to resolve the current crisis in the hills.
However the meeting held on Thursday between the Chief Minister and GJM leaders brought up enough reasons to shake hands and bury the hatchet. After the meeting the CM told the reporters that the meeting was “fruitful”. She stated that the discussions held at the meeting are paving the way for a permanent solution to the Gorkhaland issue. “This is just the beginning. It will be followed by further discussions one of which is scheduled to take place at Uttarkanya in Siliguri on September 12th.”
The discussion between the Chief Minster and the hill parties was initiated with the nod from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who proposed the Gorkhaland issue to be begin with state level talks.
According to a representative of GJM the meeting on Thursday ended on a positive note with the GJM’s demand of an impartial probe into the deaths caused due to police action during the Darjeeling protests, valid compensation for the victims’ families and withdrawal of cases against the agitators and release of those in detention.
Recently, speculations were rife on a dissension between GJM President Bimal Gurung and its convenor Binay Tamang, which was dismissed by Tamang saying that ,”I have no differences with my party President and I’m not sure towards whom the allegations of trying to frame Gurung were hinted at. All the decisions of the party are made after discussions with the central committee.”
Binay Tamang asserted that “if the results of the talks scheduled for September 12th are not positive than we have to plan a different course of action to reinforce our demand for statehood and even resume strike if the need be.”