Amid reports of sporadic violence in the hills in West Bengal, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Wednesday took out a pro-Gorkhaland rally with Gorkha kids on the streets of Darjeeling. On the 14th day of the GJM sponsored indefinite shutdown, several Gorkha children were seen walking in support of a separate state. Many of them had pro-Gorkhaland slogans written on their body. When asked why they were rallying on the streets, a teenager said: “We do not want to study Bengali. None of us know anything about that language. We want Gorkhaland.” The GJM activists gathered around the Darjeeling police station and protested against the detention of two of their leaders on their way to Patlebas. The leaders were later released. “We were on the way to Patlebas when the police personnel detained us saying that we cannot go there as a curfew-like restriction is imposed,” Samuel Gurung, Assistant Secretary of GJM’s central committee said.
On Tuesday night, sporadic incidents of violence were reported around the hills here as the pro-Gorkhaland activists allegedly set fire to two panchayat offices at Dhobitala and Rajbari, badly damaging both.The Morcha supporters also set the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration’s (GTA) engineering office ablaze post midnight on Tuesday. In a symbolic move to show snapping of all ties with the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and to protest against the development board of the North Bengal hills, GJM supporters burnt documents of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement at some 45 places on Tuesday.
You may also like to watch:
The GJM, that was spearheading the agitation in the hills, vowed to intensify the movement through hunger strike and self immolation unless their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland was accepted.