GJM demands ST status for Darjeeling Gorkhas

New Delhi: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today demanded Schedule Tribes status to all Gorkhas living in Darjeeling and immediate release of Central funds promised for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

These demands were placed by the GJM at a tripartite meeting held here today among the organisation and Central and West Bengal governments.

"We want that Gorkhas living in Darjeeling should be given the ST status," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting.

He said the detailed plan estimates worth Rs 93 crore for carrying out development works has been submitted to the Central government and a representation has been given to release the funds at the earliest.

The money is part of the Rs 200-crore package the Centre announced for the development of Darjeeling hills and its adjoining areas.

A tripartite draft memorandum of agreement on Darjeeling was signed in July for creation of the new hill council GTA.