Amit Shah to meet with stakeholders for “permanent solution” to Gorkha problem
To find a “permanent political solution” to the outstanding problems in the hills of Darjeeling, Siliguri, Terai and Dooars, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to hold a tripartite meeting with stakeholders and the government from West Bengal during the first week of September. .
On Friday evening, BJP MP for Darjeeling Assembly constituency Neeraj Tamang Zimba and Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met with the Union Home Minister and sought a “permanent political solution” in the hills, as promised by the BJP in its manifesto during the 2019 elections in Lok Sabha. .
They also asked the Home Secretary to recognize 11 Gorkha Indian sub-communities as List Tribes (TS).
Speaking to News18.com by phone, Neeraj Tamang Zimba said: “Yes, today we met our Home Secretary and assessed him on the current situation in the Darjeeling Hills. Our meeting revolved around a “permanent political solution” in the hills and we reminded him of the need to speed up the process of including the remaining 11 Gorkha sub-tribes as STs.
When asked to define a “permanent political solution” as the BJP never promised a separate “Gorkhaland”, he said: “The aspiration of the hill dwellers is a separate state from Gorkhaland. The Union Minister of the Interior told us that he will hold a tripartite meeting in the first week of September to discuss a “permanent political solution”. The solution will depend on the discussions. We have to sit down and talk. Without discussing the matter, the problem will not be solved. All stakeholders should sit down and talk ”
On conducting a central audit (due to allegations of misuse of funds) of both the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and various development boards, he said: ‘No, today’ hui, we only discussed the “permanent political solution” and the request for ST status for 11 Gorkha communities.
“This is a long pending request (Gorkhaland), I have no doubts that the Indian government will speed up the process and respond to our request,” Zimba said.
Demand for ‘Gorkhaland’ has been simmering for decades, with various groups demanding that the mountainous regions around Darjeeling be carved out for a separate state of West Bengal. In the 1980s, the unrest turned violent but peace returned after talks between the then CPI (M) government and the agitators led by Subhash Ghisingh.
Between July and September 2017, the Darjeeling Hills suffered a record 104-day general shutdown called by GJM chief Bimal Gurung, who requested a separate Gorkhaland.
During the unrest, 13 people, including two police officers, were killed.
Gorkhaland’s first request was submitted to the Morley-Minto Reform Panel in 1907. Then, in 1952, the All India Gorkha League submitted a memorandum to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for a separate state.
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