Rajnath speaks to Mamata, asks GJM to stay away from violence
As Darjeeling remained on the boil over a separate statehood agitation, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to protesters not to resort to violence and, instead, hold dialogue to resolve any issue.
He said resorting to violence would never help them in finding a solution and asked the people living there to remain calm and peaceful.
"All concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in an amicable environment," Singh said.
"I appeal to the people living in Darjeeling and nearby areas to remain calm and peaceful. Nobody should resort to violence," the home minister said in a series of tweets.
This comes a day after the Bengal Chief Minister had said that the Centre should extend support to contain the situation in Darjeeling. "Since there are also foreign links, the Centre and the state must walk together in this matter. The Centre must extend its cooperation to us," Banerjee had said.
Singh also spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday and discussed with her the situation prevailing there.
"She (Banerjee) has apprised me of the situation prevailing in Darjeeling," he said.
Singh had on Saturday also spoken to Banerjee and asked her to take all possible steps so that peace is restored in the picturesque hill station where people are protesting against "imposition" of Bengali in schools by making the language mandatory.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is in power in the semi-autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, is spearheading the agitation there demanding a separate state -- Gorkhaland.
The Bengal Chief Minister on Saturday had said that "it was a deep-rooted conspiracy" along with the support of underground insurgent groups from North-East.
There is support from outside the country to carry out terrorist activities in the Hills as such "vandalism and hooliganism" is not possible without a terrorist brain behind it.
Darjeeling remained on the edge on Sunday as thousands of protesters assembled at the central Chowkbazar carrying the body of a GJM activist, who was killed during clashes with police and raised slogans demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Security personnel in large numbers were deployed in the hill district of West Bengal after widespread clashes between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists and the police were witnessed on Saturday. When Singh has appealed the people of the Hills to restore peace, a committee comprising members from 15 development boards in the Hills has been formed to propagate the message of peace among the people so that further development works can be carried out. See