GJM tonight said the indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills will be suspended from tomorrow morning in response to appeal by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The indefinite shutdown by the Gorkha Janmukti Morch (GJM) for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered the 104th day today. The strike had begun on June 15.
“Our party supremo Bimal Gurung has decided to suspend the indefinite shutdown in the hills from 6 am tomorrow morning for an indefinite period.
“The decision was taken after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal to withdraw the strike,” GJM vice-president Kalyan Dewan told PTI.
Singh appealed to the GJM to withdraw the ongoing strike in Darjeeling hills for a separate Gorkhaland state and asked the union home secretary to convene an official-level meeting to discuss all related issues.
In a statement, the home minister said that in a democracy dialogue is the only way out to resolve any problem and solutions can be found through restraint and mutual dialogue within the legal ambit.
Although the strike was officially on in the hills but for the last one week most of the shops and markets had reopened defying the diktats by GJM leadership.
Reacting to GJM’s decision, state Tourism Minister and TMC leader Gautam Deb said the central government has provided a face saver to GJM supremo Bimal Gurung. More than 80 per cent of the shops and markets in the hills have already opened up defying Gurung, he said.
“My question is what took the central government so long and that too when the situation in the hills has already normalised,” he said.
Yesterday in view of normalcy returning to Darjeeling hills, the state administration had decided to lift the restrictions on use on internet services, which was imposed on June 18.
Gurung, against whom cases have been lodged under the UAP Act and a lookout notice has been issued, is absconding since last month.