NEW DELHI, India, June 26, Reuter: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s government today offered to talk with Gurkhas demanding autonomy in northeast India but told them to call off a militant campaign which has claimed two lives this week.

A government spokesman said Gurkha National Liberation Front leader Subash Ghising would be invited for talks in New Delhi in three weeks’ time.

Ghising wants autonomy for some 900,000 Nepal speaking Gurkhas who make up 90 per cent of the population in the hills around Darjeeling in West Bengal state.

Home (Interior) Minister Buta Singh told Ghising here today to call off a 13day strike in the area, officials said. Two people have been killed and militants have burned 80 government buildings since the protest began a week ago.

Jyoti Basu, the Marxist Chief Minister of West Bengal, told reporters after meeting Gandhi here he agreed with talks for a political settlement but that he opposed a Gurkha homeland being carved out of his state.

The Press Trust of India said militants attacked a police. camp in Darjeeling with Grenades and bombs today.

The news agency said militants also bombed the house of a reporter for State-run All India Radio in Kurseong near Darjeeling. Nobody was injured.

CHANDIGARH, India: Five persons including a B.J.P. leader Parkash Lal and two police personnel were killed in Punjab and five freedom fighters arrested and a large number of cash found during a raid on a hide out of gunmen in Amritsar.

Article extracted from this publication >>  July 3, 1987