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26 Oct 2018

Morcha's Bimal faction for talks with

SNS, KALIMPONG, 25 0CTOBER 2018: As the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong marked the first death anniversary of Barun Bhujel, who died in jail custody last year, Leaders leaning to the Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) today said they have sought talks with the state government on 'Article-3' of the Indian Constitution. The Article provides for formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states in the country.
According to Colonel Ramesh Allay (Rtd), they have sent an appeal email" to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to invite them for such talks.Though he did not mention the word Gorkhaland.' Col Allay said they will sit for table-talks with the CM "to discuss the issue of Article-3 and to bring in a permanent political solution in the Hills."
Assuring that they would not violate the law and order provisions, he said: "We will stand by the demand of a separate state, which is permitted within the boundaries of the laws."
Asked why his faction of the Morcha, which was against holding talks with the state government was now seeking talks, Col Allay said, that the states opinion also mattersin the overall response of the central government to the demand for a separate state. 'We mounted pressure on the Union Home Secretary, who said that creation of a separate state was not solely in the hands of the Centre. He has assured tripartite talks for Gorkhaland, perhaps after the Puja holidays," he said.
Meanwhile, Kalimpong town commemorated the first death anniversary of Barun Bhujel, who died in custody on 25 October last year. He was arrested during the Gorkhaland agitation that paralysed the Hills for 105 days. People from various organisations gathered to pay homage at his tombstone at Chinna Dara on East Main Road, near Bhujel's residence, in Kalimpong town. Bhujel, who was also the municipality councilor of Ward-16 was arrested on 14 June last year by the then Superintendent of Police Ajeet Singh Yadav in connection with the Hiltop Tourist Lodge arson case.
Bhujel's widow, Sabita Bhujel, said her husband did not die for any political party. "His death was rather a sacrifice for all the Gorkhas, for the sake of the land," she said. "We are still waiting for justice, and we will file further RTI to know mo re about his death, while a case is also pending in the court,' she said.
Also today, fugitive Morcha leader Bimal Gurung released a video clip that showed him, along with six other Morcha leaders, paying homage to Bhujel at an undisclosed location.
As per his call earlier, Mr Gurung said they marked the day as 'Sapath Diwas' (oath taking day) and vowed to continue with their demand "untill the dream of Bhujel and the entire Gorkha community is fulfilled".

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