GJYM leader from Kurseong Sandip Pradhan arrested
Darjeeling: The spate of arrests continued in the Hills with the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha Kurseong town committee president Sandip Pradhan being arrested from Zero Point on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Gorkhaland agitators are keen to initiate dialogues with the Bengal government. The government has asked them to lift the bandh and restore normalcy following which dialogues will be initiated. Interestingly, Pradhan was a TMC supporter who had switched sides and joined the GJM during the last Municipal elections in the Hills. With heightened activities, Pradhan quickly climbed the party hierarchy.
With the recent Gorkhaland agitation, Pradhan was seen leading demonstrations including Khukuri rallies. He was arrested on Monday morning from Zero Point in Kurseong and was taken to Siliguri. He has been implicated in numerous cases. With the Union government making it clear that the Gorkhaland agitators have to sit in talks with the Bengal government to resolve the impasse, different pro Gorkhaland outfits including the GJM now want to sit across the table with the state government.
Earlier, the pro-Gorkhaland forces had shut their doors to the Bengal government declaring that under no circumstances would they sit in talks with the state. However, in a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi, the latter made it clear that the agitators will have to sit with the state.
Following this the agitators have been sending out feelers to the state showing interest in talks to resolve the impasse. The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC — a conglomeration of pro-Gorkhaland outfits) have issued press statements to this effect.
Kalyan Dewan, Convenor of the GMCC, talking to media persons in Kalimpong on Sunday stated: "We are willing to sit in talks with the state provided it sends us a formal invitation for talks. They have been issuing media statements that the state is interested for talks but has not sent any formal invitation. The state government should also create an environment that is conducive for talks."
Sarita Rai, GJM MLA from Kalimpong has echoed similar sentiments.
Talking to media persons following the blast at the police station in Kalimpong, Rai stated: "A dialogue should be opened up immediately. This will stop the anti-social activities. There are anti-social elements indulging in such heinous activities. All this will stop with the end of the impasse. The state should immediately call us for talks formally."
"Earlier, the state had called for an all-party meeting over the Darjeeling impasse in Siliguri but none of the parties from the Hills had attended it. The Chief Minister has categorically stated that the bandh has to be lifted and normalcy restored for talks to resume," stated Rabindra Nath Ghosh, minister in charge of North Bengal Development department.