West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who held talks with several leaders of political parties in Darjeeling on Tuesday, said a separate Gorkhaland was beyond the state’s jurisdiction, PTI reported. The meeting, held at the State Secretariat in Kolkata, was attended by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the Gorkha National Liberation Front and the Jan Andolan Party on the 76th day of the indefinite shutdown.
“You can raise your voice as it is your democratic right, but the state government has its own jurisdictions, some constitutional obligations and bindings,” Banerjee said, according to IANS.
Banerjee said the talks were “fruitful, constructive and positive”, adding that the government had requested for withdrawal of the strike in the tourist town. The parties as well as the government underlined the need to restore peace in the tourist town and end the impasse.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Assistant General Secretary Benoy Tamang said the party will discuss with the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee and then decide on the withdrawal of the strike, The Hindu reported.
The next peace meeting is scheduled for September 12 in north Bengal.
Violence broke out in Darjeeling in June after Banerjee announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. Although she had said that hill districts would be exempted from the rule, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.