DARJEELING India, Jan. Jan. 23, Reuter: Indian Gurkha leader Subhas Ghising said on Saturday that talks in New Delhi next week could end a two year conflict in the Himalayan foothills in which more than 200 people have been killed.

Before leaving for the capital, the President of the Gurkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), said: “I hope this will be the final round of talks between us and the government of India. I am 99 per cent sure we will reach an agreement”.

The GNLF is fighting for Nepali speaking Gurkhas to be given an autonomous region in the tea growing hills around Darjeeling.

A recent upsurge of violence against paramilitary forces and attacks on government installations in the area led to a crackdown by security forces. Many GNLF activists have been arrested or gone underground.

The Central government has rejected a GNLF demand for a separate state, but has offered to place three hill subdivisions under an autonomous elected hill council

Efforts to reach an accord have bogged down over Ghising’s demands for plains areas to be added to the hill council, which he wants to be known as Gorkhaland.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988