Don't resort to violence, have dialogue: Rajnath to GJM protesters

Don't resort to violence, have dialogue: Rajnath to GJM protesters

Don't resort to violence, have dialogue: Rajnath to GJM protesters

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for peace in Darjeeling where an indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha entered the eighth day, as she left for The Hague where she will attend a United Nations meet. Holding aloft the tricolour, GJM youth members led the rally from Chawk Bazar, the famous lower market area on the Hill cart Road in Darjeeling, passionately shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans.

Speaking at a press conference, Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai said the GJM is unhappy with the Centre, even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with Banerjee on the unrest in the region.

A day after the deaths of three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists in Darjeeling hills, the GJM on Sunday demanded that security forces be withdrawn to ensure normalcy, and called on the Centre to initiate tripartite talks.

Violence escalated on Saturday with widespread clashes between GJM activists and police in which one person was killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an India Reserve Battalion (IRB) officer, Kiran Tamang, whose condition was said to be serious. They shouted slogans demanding that the police and security personnel be "immediately removed" from Darjeeling.

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Despite the GJM's claim, ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma had on Saturday denied the allegation of police firing.

Meanwhile, GJM chief Bimal Gurung+ has warned of more violence if the police tries to stop their protest.

Darjeeling has been largely calm since yesterday, barring stray incidents of attempted violence.

"All parties concerned and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in an amicable environment", the Home Minister had said.

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The protestors are also asking for a separate Gorkhaland, a long pending demand of the people of the hills.

"I would like to appeal to everyone in the mountains to kindly maintain peace. Nobody should resort to violence", he said in a series of tweets.

Rajnath Singh said he spoke to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Sunday morning and took stock of the situation prevailing in Darjeeling+.

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