Ghisingh on hill status

The Telegraph

Siliguri, Nov. 28: Subash Ghisingh today stoked up the Sixth Schedule status issue, saying it was the ultimate solution for Darjeeling. The GNLF chief also said he would visit the hills “shortly”.

Ghisingh, who had initiated the Gorkhaland movement in the 80s, is opposed to the interim set-up that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha now wants for the hills.

“There is no justification for an interim set-up or a dialogue in this regard as on December 6, 2005, I had signed an accord with the Centre for conferring the Sixth Schedule status on Darjeeling. If the status is granted, the hills will automatically get an autonomous set-up,” Ghisingh said here after a meeting. About 200 GNLF supporters from different parts of Kurseong subdivision attended the meet in a hall here.

Ghisingh, whose writ no longer runs in the hills, had paid a heavy price when he accepted a proposal to confer the Sixth Schedule status on the hills. The Centre, the state and Ghisingh’s GNLF had signed a memorandum of settlement, which could not be implemented because of opposition in the hills. The resultant vacuum had helped Morcha’s Bimal Gurung undermine Ghisingh’s authority and project himself as an alternative power.

When asked whether the Centre and the state had done wrong by inviting the Morcha for a dialogue, Ghisingh said: “It should not have been done.” The GNLF chief assured his supporters that the Sixth Schedule would protect the rights of different communities in the hills. “I had a plan to return to the hills during Dussehra but postponed it following a request from the administration. But I will go to Darjeeling shortly,” he said.


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