Mamata Banerjee assures probe in police firing

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

After the bipartite meeting Banerjee said, "The strike should withdraw to bring normalcy in hills, we all love hills, the government wants peace in hills, but presently tripartite meeting is not possible, it will be decided only after third meeting at Nabana on 16th October".

Meanwhile, ousted GJM leader Binay Tamang presented a 17-point demand to the state government.

In the second round of talks over the contentious Gorkhaland issue, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and top officials of the state government on Tuesday met Gorkha leaders in Siliguri. "As a result, we need some time to look at this administrative issues before convening a tripartite meeting".

The indefinite bandh was called by the hill parties, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Apart from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Gorkha National Liberation Front, Jan Andolan Party, Akhil Bhartiye Gorkha League and the Hill Trinamool Congress, the meeting at Uttarkanya was attended by the state's Home Secretary, Chief Secretary, the state police's ADG (law and order) as well as the state Ministers Goutam Deb and Aroop Biswas. "We are indebted to the chief minister for listening to us, the process has started and hope to reach to some concrete solution after the meeting at Nabanna". In today's meeting, not a word on Gorkhaland was uttered. The Chief Minister agreed on at least two major demands of providing compensation to those killed in the Darjeeling hills in the three-month-long agitation and constituting a high level inquiry to probe the series of small intensity blasts that have rocked the hills.

Further, the GJM urged the government to allow local TV channels and digital media to function in the Hills. "But unfortunately, the tripartite dialogue was not really discussed, and that was very disappointing".

Tamang, who maintains that he is the true representative of the GJM because his removal from the party by Gurung was illegitimate, said on Tuesday that leaders of all Gorkha parties will now discuss whether to lift the blockade. After Tamang's expulsion, Jyoti Kumar Rai had replaced him in the party.

The statement added that the GJM would like to remind the people that the "90 days of indefinite strike and the death of 11 Gorkhaland supporters was not to bargain for bonus, salary, winter allowance for teachers and development issues".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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