Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) on Tuesday announced the ongoing stir in Darjeeling will be called off from Wednesday morning. The development came in shortly after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had made an appeal to the GJM and its president Bimal Gurung to end the strike as it has adversely affected the atmosphere of the hill state and like any other strong democracy, the procedure should be carried forward with dialogue and not action. Gurung announced the withdrawal, assuring that the protest for separate Gorkhaland will be halted by 6 am from Wednesday.
The hill city of Darjeeling for over last 3 months has been facing indefinite shutdown as protests from the Gorkha community continued to grow stronger over their demands of a separate Gorkhaland, the Gorkha Movement Coordination committee (GMMC) had earlier blamed the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government for not making sincere efforts to restore peace in the hills.
Earlier CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury had also urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to conduct a tripartite meeting involving all parties, the state government, and the GJM administration to chalk out a plan to restore peace in the hills which have turned into a ‘grave’.
Home Minister’s appeal to GJM and its president said, “I appeal to the GJM and its leader Bimal Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh and to help create a conducive atmosphere for allowing normalcy to return to the area, particularly in view of the festival season,”
“Eleven precious lives have been lost so far, several have been injured and the entire people of Darjeeling hills have suffered a lot since the strike. I have been pained immensely by what has happened in Darjeeling hills,” a press statement issued by the PIB quoted the Home Minister as saying.
Darjeeling in the past three months has witnessed instances of severe violence, a bomb blast in Kalimpong, killing of a Gorkha activist and much more. Normalcy was far from the beautiful area, which once used to be filled with tourists who come here seeking peace. Markets, Offices and other commercial complexes and business were all shut which had also affected the area monetarily and the decision to call off the long protest now will return normalcy and hopefully tourists back in the area.
Meanwhile, ruling party leader and state Tourism Minister Goutam Deb informed the press that internet services have also been restored in the area after the call off.
“Under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the situation had turned normal in the hills. All important services were resumed. Today, the Home Minister helped GJM leaders save their faces. The BJP and central government had a tactical adjustment with Gurung and company and today’s development is proof of that. However, no meeting should take place without the state government,” Deb said.