Rajnath Singh said that in a democracy, dialogue is the only way out to resolve any problem
The Centre today took its first step to initiate peace in Darjeeling where the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha has been demanding a separate state and has been on strike since June 12.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has appealed to the GJM to withdraw their ongoing agitation demanding a separate Gorkhaland state. Mr Singh also directed Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to convene an official level meeting to discuss all related issues.
The home minister said in a statement 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.
"I appeal to the GJM and its leader Bimal Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh and to help create a conductive atmosphere for allowing normalcy to return to the area, particularly in view of the festival season," the statement said.
The indefinite shutdown to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland has been on for 104 days.
"Eleven precious lives have been lost so far, seven have been injured and the entire people of Darjeeling hills have suffered a lot since the strike. I have pained immensely by what has happened in Darjeeling hills," the minister added.
On September 20, the West Bengal government announced the constitution of a nine-member board of administrators with the same powers as Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) which is headed by GJM chief Bimal Gurung.