Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership decided on Sunday to relax the indefinite bandh called by it in the Darjeeling hills for 60 hours.

The morcha has decided to send a team of senior leaders to Kolkata on Tuesday with an appeal to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to help facilitate tripartite talks in New Delhi where it hopes its demand for a separate State will be taken up.

A mention of the request has also been made in a letter from GJM president Bimal Gurung to Mr. Bhattacharjee.

“The letter was sent today (Sunday) to honour the one that had been written by the Chief Minister to us last week, as well as to seek his help in preparing for tripartite talks involving the Centre,” Mr. Gurung told The Hindu over telephone from Darjeeling.

“I shall, however, not be going to Kolkata for talks with the Chief Minister and am instead looking at the possibility of tripartite discussions on our demand for a separate State,” Mr. Gurung said.

The delegation that plans to meet Mr. Bhattacharjee is to be led by Amar Lama, a GJM central committee member.

The Chief Minister had sent a letter to Mr. Gurung last week renewing his invitation for talks on ways to resolve the stalemate.

The GJM leadership also decided that another delegation will leave for New Delhi on Monday for talks with Central leaders and those of different parties on its demand for a separate State to be carved out of the Darjeeling hills and certain areas contiguous to it.

“The delegation to New Delhi will be led by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri,” Mr. Gurung added.

The indefinite bandh that resumed on June 16 after a relaxation of a few days was lifted for 60 hours till 6 a.m. on Wednesday following a “request from some Central Ministers and to enable the people to stock up,” Mr. Gurung said. “The bandh will be resumed on Wednesday for an indefinite period,” Mr. Gurung said.

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