Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders to end the over two-month-long statehood agitation in Darjeeling, and to restore civil supplies and Internet facilities in the hills.
The six-member delegation, led by GJM leader Swaraj Thapa, held a two-hour meeting with Rajnath Singh at which Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Union Minister and Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia were also present.
"I am concerned about the developments in Darjeeling and the loss of valuable lives and sufferings of people over the past 60 days".
The delegation of stakeholders submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Union Home Minister today on the same.
"We told the Home Minister that that there can not be any other solution besides a separate state for the entire region".
Darjeeling: With the indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills entering its 59th day on Saturday, the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) called an emergency meeting of all the hill-based parties to discuss the "future course of action".
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Rajnath said that, in a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit. "We urged him to start the process for (creation of) a separate state". Two top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been ruling the autonomous hill council, Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, did not attend Sunday's meeting. "Our demand is very much within Constitution", he said.
This is the second time when Rajnath has called for talks in the recent past.
The GJM has maintained that setting up separate boards outside of the functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was part of Banerjee's "divisive politics".
Singhmari and Patlebas areas in Darjeeling have witnessed several incidents of violence involving the GJM activists and police in the last couple of months.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.
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