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There was no proposal to constitute a committee to look into the separate state demand of the Gorkhas and others agitating in Darjeeling, West Bengal, the government said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. "There is no proposal to appoint a committee to look into the merits and demerits of the demands of the Gorkhas, Adivasis and others," Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in a written reply to a question in the Lower House of Parliament. The Darjeeling hills have been witnessing an indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, since June 12. "Violence and damage to public property have been reported during the agitations," said Ahir. He added that according to the Constitution, the states were primarily responsible for the maintenance of law-and-order. The Centre, on a request from a state government, provided assistance by sending Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel, said the minister. Similarly, CAPF battalions were provided to the West Bengal government as well for the maintenance of law-and-order in the Darjeeling hills, he added.
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