GJM lifts bandh in plains after talks

Last Updated: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 23:16

Jalpaiguri/Darjeeling: The GJM on Saturday withdrew
its indefinite bandh in the plains after parleys with the
Centre`s interlocutor, but life in the hills was crippled for
the fourth day of the agitation for separate Gorkhaland.

Centre`s interlocutor Vijay Madan held talks with GJM
president Bimal Gurung and spoke to district magistrates and
superintendents of police of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri for a
brief on the law and order situation in both the Dooars
region and the Darjeeling hills.
Without disclosing what transpired during the meeting held
at Kumani, 85 km from Jaipaiguri, Madan told reporters that he
would submit his report to the Centre before leaving Kumani.

GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said after the meeting,
that they had decided to withdraw the bandh in Dooars and the
padayatra to the plains but the bandh would continue in
Darjeeling till their demand for a statehood was met.

The bandh had not had much impact in the plains, police
said.
"Our relay hunger strike and other forms of agitations in
the Darjeeling hills in support of our demand for Gorkhaland
and CBI enquiry into the February 8 police firing at Sipchu
will continue," Giri said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said
the West Bengal government was ready to hold talks with the
GJM leaders provided the outfit eschewed violence.

"The problem in Darjeeling can be sorted out through
peaceful political talks and we are ready for that... We
cannot compromise with violence," he said at the annual
combined parade of West Bengal and Kolkata Police Force in
Kolkata.

GJM had announced an indefinite strike on February 9
demanding a CBI inquiry into the Sipchu police firing in which
two party supporters were killed and another succumbed to
injuries today.

Refusing to return to the negotiation table, if a separate
Gorkhaland was not on the agenda, a belligerent Gurung,
speaking over phone from Darjeeling last night threatened to
intensify the agitation and dared the state government to
arrest him.

"If police try to arrest me, the people of the hills will
give them a fitting reply. They will virtually put the hills
on fire and the state Government will be solely responsible
for the consequences," Gurung had said over phone.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 23:16

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