Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) Refuting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge that the central government has colluded with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to keep Darjeeling hills on the boil, a union minister on Tuesday said the Centre is “fully cooperative” in restoring peace in the trouble-torn region.
“We don’t instigate. You have seen we have sent our forces,” Union Law and Justice and Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told media persons on the sidelines of a programme here.
Prasad was apparently referring to the deployment of army and central forces in the north Bengal hills, which have been singed by violence for over a month now over the renewed demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Normal life has been paralysed following an indefinite shutdown called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the largest hill-based party.
“We are fully cooperative. But ultimately the state government has to take the initiative,” the Union Minister said.
The Centre has been urging the state’s Trinamool Congress government to sit for talks with the GJM to find an amicable solution to the knotty issue. But Chief Minister Banerjee has categorically stated that her government would not hold discussions unless the GJM withdrew its indefinite shutdown.
Banerjee has time and again accused the central government of being hand-in-glove with the GJM to foment trouble in the hills.