KOLKATA: Terming the second round of talks with pro-Gorkhaland parties in Siliguri Tuesday as ‘fruitful’, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to initiate a high-level inquiry into alleged police firings and bomb blasts in the Darjeeling hills and also to compensate the kin of the people who were killed during the agitation.
She also urged the agitators to bring back normalcy in the hills in the wake of the upcoming ‘Dassain’ festival. Coinciding with Durga Puja of Bengalis, Dassain is the largest festival of the Gorkhas in the hills.
Speaking to media after completion of the talks, the West Bengal chief minister said that the issue of tripartite talks brought up by the pro-Gorkhaland parties will be discussed in the third round of meeting on October 16.
She said, “GTA (Gorkha Territorial Administration) agreement had a provision for tripartite talks with the Centre. However, since GTA is not in existence now as an elected body, we can’t hold tripartite talks at the very moment.
“We need to look into the legal aspects for initiating the tripartite talks which we may discuss in the next meeting on October 16,” she said.
“The hills parties demanded high-level inquiry into police firings and bomb blasts which will soon be initiated,” Banerjee added.
Mamata Banerjee also agreed to look into some other demands of the pro-Gorkhaland parties including payment of minimum wages to tea garden workers and running of hill schools during winter break to compensate for the losses during the 90-day strike.