Only dialogue can solve Gorkhaland issue: GJM

Darjeeling, Oct 7 (IANS) The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is demanding a separate Gorkhaland, Monday asserted it will now carry its separatist agitation through dialogue with the movement being "Delhi-oriented" from December.

"Now the Gorkhaland agitation will be done through dialogue. I don't want violence. Dialogue is the only way we can solve the problem of the hills. The government must understand that," said GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

"In December, the agitation will be Delhi-oriented and a lakh of Gorkha people will go to Delhi and create pressure for Gorkhaland," said Gurung whose GJM has intensified its separatist movement in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills since August following the central government's endorsement of Telangana.

On GJM's 7th foundation day, Gurung asserted the creation of Gorkhaland was "imperative to ensure political identity of the Indian Gorkhas residing not just in the Darjeeling Hills but also for those Gorkhas who are facing an identity problem across India".

Hailing non-Gorkha communities for showing solidarity with the Gorkhaland movement, he called for continued mass support of the movement.

With over 1000 of GJM leaders and supporters arrested by the Mamata Banerjee government as a crackdown on the movement, Gurung also urged people to scale down their celebrations of Dassain - the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar.

"We must also remember that many of our supporters are behind bars for supporting the cause of Gorkhaland and will not be celebrating Dassain. Our prayers and sympathies are with them and their families," he said.

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