Darjeeling crisis: The indefinite strike by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for a separate Gorkhaland in Darjeeling hills which entered its ninth day today is unlikely to end anytime soon. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s stand on making Bengali language mandatory for all the state schools led to the ongoing strike by the Gorkha organisations. Here are the top ten developments from the current situation.
1. As the indefinite strike by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for a separate Gorkhaland in Darjeeling hills entered its ninth day, residents and labourers were seen leaving the region.
2. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha gives a 12-hour window to various schools in Darjeeling to evacuate students.
3. The indefinite strike by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling hills has hit the tea industry badly. The area is home to 87 tea gardens and the owners think they will be losing 45 per cent of their yearly revenue.
4. The state government has announced that Internet services will remain suspended until June 26 in the Darjeeling hills. Residents termed it as an “oppressive step against a democratic movement.”
5. On Tuesday, twelve Gorkha organisations including Jan Andolan Party, Akhil Bhartiya Gorkha League and United Gorkha Revolutionary Front, among others took part in a meeting, where they developed a resolution to discard the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). Political leaders of BJP’s hill district committee also participated.
6. Gorkha organisations including GJM, which at present leading the protest and GNLF have decided not to participate in the June 22 all-party meet that the West Bengal government called to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills.
7. Amid the indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha entered into its ninth day today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for her Netherlands visit. CM Mamata Banerjee will address a United Nations meet in Netherlands and said her ministers will monitor the situation in violence-hit Darjeeling.
8. On June 22, the Left Front will also not take part in the meeting, “since the chief minister is out of the country”, Vivek Sarkar, Left Front’s convener for Darjeeling Hills, said.
9. Gorkha leaders said they will form a core committee and send a contingent to meet the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, and the President of India to brief them on the current situation.
10. P Arjun, member of Gorkhaland Study Forum, a GJM think-tank, said, “Our movement for Gorkhaland will continue. We have unitedly decided to scrap GTA — we will form an all-India coordination committee for Gorkhaland to take the movement forward.” This marks a clear indication to the Mamata Banerjee-led state government that they should “reconsider its rigid stand on the Bengali language policy.”