Kolkata: As Darjeeling continues to be in the grip of violence, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) convened an all-party meeting on Tuesday, in which it decided to meet Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in Gangtok to press their demand of a separate Gorkhaland.
Rijiju was scheduled to reach Sikkim at 4 pm to attend a yoga session on Wednesday, International Yoga Day.
“Since Kiren Rijiju ji is in Sikkim, we have decided to meet him to discuss the issue. We will seek his advice on how to deal with the current political situation in the Hills,” a GJM leader said.
The GJM had called for the all-party meeting to discuss the next course of action against the state government’s alleged imposition of Bangla language in schools and to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Trinamool Congress leaders skipped the meeting, while pro-Gorkhaland parties, including the GNLF, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League and Harka Bahadur Chettri’s Jan Andolan Party attended it.
At the meeting, JAP and Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League leaders stressed on the need for an immediate withdrawal of the bandh, saying it was affecting the economy.
“GNLF party leaders call for a united fight for a separate state and asked our councilors and GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) members to resign. We have not yet decided on this issue,” GJM sources said.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “We are not responsible for the current crisis in the Hills. We are ready to talk, but it should be on the formation of separate Gorkhaland.”
Meanwhile, more than 300 animals, including endangered Red Panda at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP), are facing the heat of the ongoing shutdown which has affected food supply.
Speaking to News18, Zoo director Piar Chand said, “Stocks are drying up and immediate steps should be taken to save these animals. We need around 350 kg of food, including meat, every day, but there is no supply.”