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Mamata Banerjee to hold 'fruitful' all-party meet on Gorkhaland crisis in Darjeeling today

Darjeeling: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached north Bengal on Monday where she is scheduled to hold an all-party meeting on 21 November to discuss the situation in Darjeeling hills, a state minister said.

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Banerjee would conduct the all-party meeting in the presence of Chief Secretary Malay De, state Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha and representatives of the local administrative bodies and representatives of the state government, in Darjeeling district's Pintail village on Tuesday afternoon.

"The Chief Minister has reached north Bengal. She would hold the all-party meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). All major hill political parties including Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), Jana Andolan Party (JAP) and Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) are expected to be present in the meeting," state Tourism Minister and Trinamool Congress leader from north Bengal Gautam Deb told IANS.

Claiming the situation to be normal in the hills, Deb said they were expecting a "good and fruitful" meeting.

"The situation here is normal. The security arrangement for chief minister in the hills is as usual. No additional measures have been taken," he said.

The Chief Minister would also hold administrative meetings for Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar — the three north Bengal districts — the next day at "Uttar-Kanya", state's administrative headquarters in north Bengal, the minister said.

This would be the fourth all-party meeting between the state and the hill parties since the discord over the demand that a separate state of Gorkhaland be curved out of the northern Bengal hills.

The government have so far rejected the demand of separate Gorkhaland but released Rs 500 crore and Rs 174 crore packages of in two tranches for the development of the region.

The northern West Bengal hills, including the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and a section of the Terai-Dooars region at the foothills of Darjeeling, had been on the boil for nearly four months over the statehood demand of Gorkhaland.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha spearheaded the agitation and conducted a 104-day shutdown in the hills that was eventually withdrawn on September 26 following an appeal from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Updated Date: Nov 21, 2017 14:58 PM

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