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1 Aug 2017

GJM gives 10-day limit to Centre to intervene

EOI, DARJEELING, 31 Jul 2017 : The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has given a 10-day deadline to the Centre to intervene in the Gorkhaland statehood stir as the indefinite shutdown in the hills entered its 47th day today.
"We have given a ten-day deadline to the Union government to intervene. An indefinite shutdown is going on for the last 47 days. The Centre can't just sit idle when the hills are burning," GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang told newspersons on Sunday night. The 30-member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of all the hill parties of Darjeeling, is in Delhi for an all-party meeting.
The GMC has sought an appointment with Union Home minister Rajnath Singh to brief him on the ongoing crisis in the hills. "We have sought a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh in order to brief him on the ongoing crisis in the hills. The indefinite shutdown has entered its 47th day, which is the longest-ever shutdown in the history of Darjeeling. The Centre needs to take concrete action," Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh president Sukhman Moktan told news agency PTI.
The police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and kept a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes. Normal life remained crippled during the indefinite strike to press for a separate Gorkhaland state. Barring medicine shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed. The issue of unrest in Darjeeling over demand for Gorkhaland today figured in the Parliament with an NCP member in Rajya Sabha asking the government to call the agitators for talks to restore normalcy in the picturesque hill station and the affected region. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the House, Majeed Memon said the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has taken a violent turn and has been going on for almost eight weeks. He said the people were suffering due to shortage of essential items like water and food.
Due to the prolonged agitation, it is for the first time in 150 years that Darjeeling tea has not come to the markets for auction. Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading an agitation in Darjeeling hills, is demanding a separate Gorkhaland state. "It is felt that the agitation that is going on for whatever demand, may be justified or may not be justified ...the ruling party in West Bengal probably is not in good terms with the Centre and it is because of the hostility between the two, the Centre and the state...the people are sandwiched, they are suffering," he said. Memon urged the government to call the agitators for talks so that normalcy could be restored in the region. "Well, you may or may not accept their demand...please invite the agitators and have a talk so that normalcy can be restored," the NCP member said.

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