The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hero's welcome for Ghisingh
- Khadas, bouquets for hill chief

Bagdogra, Dec. 9: GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh returned from Delhi today to a tumultuous welcome at Bagdogra Airport, which was swamped by the party's supporters, who had converged from different parts of the hills.

'This is the final settlement... Only the demarcation of the Gorkha-dominated areas (in the plains) needs to be settled within the next two-three months after due consultation between the council and state government,' said the Gorkha leader as hundreds of his supporters waited outside the airport building to receive him.

Scores of others carrying khadas (silk scarves) and bouquets were already inside the building.

As soon as Ghisingh emerged from the airport tarmac, women activists of the party, dressed in green (party colour) saris and traditional Nepali blouses, broke into chants of 'Subash Ghisingh zindabad'.

Security personnel had a tough time trying to keep away supporters from coming near him.

On his way to the VIP lounge on the ground floor, a smiling Ghisingh accepted the bouquets and khadas from his supporters. Unable to get close, many of them threw the khadas and flowers at him from all directions, including from the first floor visitors' gallery.

'What bigger thing could have occurred than to secure a place for the Gorkhas in India,' said a jubilant Dawa Pakhrin, a former councillor from Kalimpong, who was a member of the GNLF delegation to Delhi.

Standing on a hurriedly fetched stool near the entry to the VIP lounge, Ghisingh was at his combative best. 'Keep Madan Tamang (People's Democratic Front leader) in your pocket,' he cut short a reporter before he could even finish his question.

'That was done in a moment of excitement, but now that I am here, I will bring the situation under control,' the GNLF leader said when he was told about today's flare-up at Kalijhora.

Outside, dance troupes from the hills, including a group of jhakris (shamans), livened up the proceedings.

GNLF leader from Darjeeling Deepak Gurung, who, too, had accompanied Ghisingh to Delhi, said a victory ceremony would be organised in Darjeeling on New Year's Day.

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