Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “misleading people” and spreading lies. In an audio issued statement on Sunday, Gurung said the CM’s claim that the violence in Darjeeling and surrounding hills was being propagated by insurgent groups was “white lies”.
He also said that the fight for a separate state would intensify till Gorkhaland is carved out from West Bengal. Banerjee, on Saturday, had said that the violence in the hills was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” by rebel organisations in the northeast region as well as some foreign countries.
“The allegations are baseless, Mamata Banerjee is trying to mislead people. It is not a political fight but a fight for our own identity. We will not stop until and unless Gorkhaland is achieved. The struggle will intensify in the hills,” Gurung said.
On the boil for the past 10 days over a separate state demand, Darjeeling had yesterday witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police in which at least three were killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an India Reserve Battalion (IRB) officer.
Meanwhile, the party’s leadership is planning to revive Gorkhaland Personnel(GLP) — its “peacekeeping” wing. “The situation is getting worse with each passing day. We feel that a head-on collision is just a matter of time. So we need to prepare ourselves to counter the state government democratically,” GJM central committee member and former in-charge of GLP Colonel (retd) Ramesh Alley told PTI.
“We (GJM) will revive and recruit more youths in GLP our own peacekeeping force. We are not into any kind of violence nor is GLP into this. But we have to prepare ourselves,” he said. GJM, Alley said, wants to raise an 8000-strong force in Darjeeling hills which will be well prepared to tackle” any kind of situation”.