Gorkhaland demand: West Bengal govt to hold talks with political parties on 29 August to restore peace

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced the state government will hold talks with "all major political parties" on 29 August in a bid to restore peace and normalcy in the agitation-hit north West Bengal hills.

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Banerjee said the president of the central committee of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) has written to the state government, asking for a high-level intervention to end the present crisis in the Hill areas of Darjeeling" and has "humbly requested for talks to restore peace and normalcy in the Hills".

The Trinamool Congress supremo said the state government has decided to "respond positively to the request".

Not only the GNLF but "all major political parties will be called" on 29 August at state secretariat Nabanna at 4 pm, she said.

"Representatives of the development boards will also be called to the meeting. I have said it earlier as well that those who are in favour of restoration of normalcy, government is ready to talk with them anytime. This (request for dialogue from GNLF) is a constructive and positive indication. Since GNLF is a very old party and they have sent the first request... we are responding.

"Those who think on the same lines as the GNLF, we can invite those parties also," Banerjee said, adding normalcy is gradually being restored in the hills.

The Darjeeling hills have been on the boil for over two months with an indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha continuing since 12 June to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Two explosions rocked Darjeeling and Kalimpong last week, within a span of 24 hours, killing one civic volunteer and injuring two others.

Updated Date: Aug 22, 2017 20:03 PM

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