Ghisingh claims he will return to Darjeeling shortly
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2010
Jalpaiguri (WB), Aug 13 (PTI) Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supremo Subash Ghisingh today claimed that he would shortly return to Darjeeling hills, from where he was driven out by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in 2008, as the situation had improved there. Ghising, who had first voiced the demand for Gorkhaland and led a violent movement from 1986 to 1988 before settling for the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), had earlier said the situation there was not conducive for his return. “We will return shortly. I am not announcing the date,” Ghisingh told reporters at his residence here, guarded by the police, where he has been living since his ouster from Darjeeling. He also claimed that the interim DGHC proposed by the Centre and on which tripartite talks were being held currently with the GJM and the West Bengal government was opposed by the people of Darjeeling. Ghisingh said there should also not be any dilution in the Sixth Schedule status that he had proposed for ensuring greater autonomy in the Darjeeling hills. Under the Sixth Schedule, the DGHC, which runs the administration in the Hills, was to get more powers similar to those enjoyed by the Autonomous District Councils of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. A Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) on Sixth Schedule status to the DGHC was signed between the Centre, the West Bengal government and the GNLF in December 2005. The agreement was signed by the then Union Home Secretary V K Duggal, then West Bengal Home Secretary Amit Kiran Deb and Subash Ghisingh in the presence of then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The GNLF supremo’s insistence for Sixth Schedule status for the Hills had caused him to fall out with his then close aide, Bimal Gurung, who is currently the president of the rival GJM.