Siliguri (THE TELEGRAPH)—-: Senior administrative and police officials posted in the Darjeeling hills, said the government should appoint an interlocutor for talks with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on the indefinite agitation, showing signs of restlessness in the wake of fresh attacks and arson.
the Morcha rejected an offer for talks by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the party would only negotiate with the Centre on the single-point agenda of Gorkhaland.
“There has been no change in the situation. In fact, it is deteriorating every day.”
In the past 24 hours, the offices of the SDO of Kurseong, and the state forest department and the food and supplies department have been attacked by strike enforcers.
“On one hand, the Morcha says it will not sit for talks with the state government. On the other, the Bengal government is not immediately ready for tripartite talks involving the Centre.
The state government official today pointed out that now that the hill parties had formed a common forum – the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee – an interlocutor could be engaged to talk to the representatives of the panel.
“Yesterday’s offer for talks proves that the state has softened its stand. But the Morcha’s response has been negative. Also, it is unlikely that the state will withdraw the additional forces from the hills right now,”.
“The situation has become so volatile that policemen are being attacked regularly and in different places. In the past 24 hours, there has been at least three attacks on policemen and police establishments,” an officer said.
A Trinamul leader based in the hills said attacks on the police could be in retaliation to the deaths of three persons yesterday, with the Morcha alleging that they had died in police firing.
“Police camps, outposts, barracks and an office of the deputy superintendent of police were attacked. Peace must be restored,” the leader said.
(EDITED BY SHAILESH KUMAR)