Hope in Darjeeling: (The Hindu)
almost 100 days after a near- total shutdown in Darjeeling hills demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung on Tuesday announced withdrawal of the bandh.
- The development came hours after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a fresh appeal to Mr. Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh.
- The GJM has been demanding that a tripartite dialogue involving the Centre, State and the GJM be started for the strike to be lifted.
- While there was no direct assurance of tripartite talks by the Centre, the proposal of an official-level meeting was enough for the GJM.
- The present agitation was sparked by grievances over the Ms Mamata Banerjee’s initial statement about Bengali being made a compulsory language of study in the State.
- A section of the GJM, led by Binay Tamang, had shown an inclination to negotiate with the State government.
- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had, a week ago, named Mr. Tamang the chairperson of a new board of administrators to head the now-defunct Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, which had been set up in 2012 as a semi-autonomous body with substantive powers.
- In the past three months, the hills also witnessed several incidents of violence as clashes broke out between Gorkhaland supporters and police.