Gorkha Janmukti Morcha calls off indefinite strike
Darjeeling: Following Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's appeal, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has withdrawn the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills which had continued for 104 days. The GJM had called indefinite strike in the region to demand a separate state 'Gorkhaland'.
On Tuesday, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung issued an audio message from an undisclosed location announcing his party's decision to withdraw the bandh. The strike will be withdrawn from 6 am on Wednesday.
The announcement comes hours after Rajnath Singh made an appeal to the GJM leadership to withdraw the indefinite shutdown and also convened a meeting to resolve the unrest in the Darjeeling hills. "I have asked the Home Secretary to convene an official level meeting in the Home Ministry within a fortnight to discuss all related issues. I also appeal to the GJM and its leader Bimal Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh and to help a conducive atmosphere for allowing normalcy to return to the area, particularly in view of the festive season," the Union Home minister said in his appeal.
It further states: "On the call of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) an indefinite strike is currently on in the Darjeeling Hills since June 12, 2017. Eleven precious lives have been lost so far, several have been injured and the people of Darjeeling hills have suffered a lot since the strike. I have been pained immensely by what has happened in Darjeeling. In a democracy, dialogue is the only way out to resolve any problem. Solutions can be found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit."
Soon after the release, Gurung appealed to all to open up shops, schools, offices from 6 am on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM had clamped the bandh stating that it would be lifted only after the Union government intervened and held tripartite talks on Gorkhaland.
However, the Union Home Ministry release does not state the nature of talks (bipartite or tripartite) and who all will be invited for talks. It also does not state that talks will be held on the Gorkhaland demand. It may also be mentioned that for the past few weeks, efforts were on to ensure normalcy in the region.