Gorkhaland stir: ‘We want a separate state; what is wrong in it’

Earlier, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) office had become a war zone as police lathicharged a rally of the party’s women wing amid a drizzle.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Darjeeling | Published:June 18, 2017 4:06 am
Gorkhaland, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, GJM, GJM women members, darjeeling, darjeeling violence, india news, indian express GJM supporters protest in Singmari, near Darjeeling on Saturday. Partha Paul

Hundreds of youngsters, with their faces mostly covered with wet cloth, carried stones and bottles as they dotted the Lebong Cart Road here. Agile, prepared and motivated, they confronted security forces for hours and drove them away. “We want Gorkhaland. Please write what is true. We want a separate state. What is wrong in it?” said a teenager in fluent English. “We did not start the trouble, the police did. Now they are even firing at us.’’

Earlier, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) office had become a war zone as police lathicharged a rally of the party’s women wing amid a drizzle. A clash soon erupted as mostly empty alcohol bottles were lobbed at the police, who retaliated with teargas shells that made it difficult for people to breath. GJM women members, some of them injured, were seen running away and taking shelter in surrounding houses.

The youths soon took to the streets and drove away the police, some snatching lathis and shields they carried. Petrol bombs were thrown and police vehicles were set afire. The air smelt of burning fuel and rubber as the youths controlled the area.

“Do not worry. You guys will not be harmed. But we cannot help if the police fire on you. You must understand why we are doing this. We do not want violence. But we are being forced. They lathicharged on the women. We are ready for anything. We know the terrain and we can die for Gorkhaland,” said another youth.

Many students and youths from business families have joined the GJM after the May 8 violence in Darjeeling. “We are not fools to leave our work, studies and do all this. When the fresh call for Gorkhaland came, we jumped in,” said the youth.

The youths seemed to be well prepared, with piles of stones and bags of glass bottles placed on one side of the road. Many of them carried slings. They were agile and frequently changed positions. Some shouted abuses in Nepali and English at policemen. “We do not want trouble or violence. But we all support Gorkhaland. The police and the government should understand this is a strong sentiment here. No one here likes shutdowns and hardships. We are also scared,” said the 35-year-old man.

The youths slowly went away as police arrived on the spot around two hours later after sounds of whistles and reports that the Army was marching in.

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  1. D
    Dumb demand
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm
    BENGALIS MUST START DEMANDING CHITTARANJAN PARK AS BENGAL IN NEW DELHI ....... DELHI SHOULD BE DIVIDED ...... A NEW BENGAL IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR. WE ARE 80 OVER THERE .....
    Reply
    1. B
      Bikram Chowdary
      Jun 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm
      What happened in just 10 days- Bengal imposed as a compulsory language.(People not believing it can go through newspaper articles of late April, I remember reading it and even discussing with others) Lathi charge at the people near a cabinet meeting 3 people (Bimal Sasshankar, Bikram Rai)shot dead Government mentioning only about the police officer hacked to death(Vikram Tamang), who is actually ALIVE. Internet cut off Government employees threatened to come to office GTA staff transferred across Bengal Two Bengalis appointed as GTA secretaries Several companies of army called in. Mamata mentions waving of National flag in a protest as hiding behind criticism. No action against her comment. TMC MPs like Derek O'Brien writing news articles and dictating their versions in Public opinion pages. Didi leaves for Europe assuring that DARJEELING is in Safe hands that is how the people in Darjeeling are oppressed in just 10 days. Please don't speak blindly against their demand
      Reply
      1. C
        Concerned Citizen
        Jun 19, 2017 at 10:17 pm
        Abhishek, looks like you're opposed to Bangladeshi's being given illegal voter cards. How then can you support giving a state to a movement largely by people from Nepal. Granted there are some who have been in Darjeeling for generations but the vast majority will not be able to trace their family history for more than 1 generation in the hills. Lots will quote fake history of Darjeeling being part of Nepal. All you need to do is open your eyes. Look at the all the historical buildings in Nepal, now point out one in Darjeeling. This movement is not about 'iden y' alright. It is about all people in Nepal having an 'iden y' in India. How do you think Prashant Tamang won the Indian Idol - there is lot at stake here and this goes much beyond the orginal inhabitants of Darjeeling.
        Reply
        1. S
          Salu Malu
          Jun 19, 2017 at 9:14 pm
          Darjeeling is a piece of land Sikim has sold long back to British during their rule and it was merged with Bengal as such a small land can't be a self sustaining state. At the time of independence population was just below one lakh.Then started one way flow of people from Nepal .Even now everyday at least 500 ppeople drop to bengal in search of livelihood Everything was fine as bengalees are basically tolerant people .Then on retd. army officer Ghising wanted to rule these Nepalis and the migrants all turned into his foot soldiers .lot of mayhem carnage ehnic cleansing. Then backstabbing Ghising , Mr. Gurung ,his close in arms staged a coup and driven out Ghishing and since then wants to establish his rule.Quick on the heels he enlisted support of many north east rerrorists which BJP govt. till this day could not control So there's no dearth of men,money ,arms training to form a very dangerous state - a greater Nepal in connaivance with Nepal China . Can Modi stop encroachment
          Reply
          1. J
            Jubaraj chetry
            Jun 19, 2017 at 10:30 am
            Jay gorkha
            Reply
            1. R
              Roshan pradhan
              Jun 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm
              Any one who feels they should not get gor nd should understand the history of the land and the sentiments of the people. We r not fools too and ignorant about the world, we too r educated enuf to know the consequences of the acts and decisions made. I request all to be genuine and be sympathetic to the cause of gorkhas..
              Reply
              1. R
                Roshan pradhan
                Jun 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm
                Any one who feels they should not get gor nd should understand the history of the land and the sentiments of the people. We r not fools to and ignorant about the world, we too r educated enuf to know the consequences of the acts and decisions made. I request all to be genuine and be sympathetic to the cause of gorkhas..
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sriram Kalpathi
                  Jun 18, 2017 at 11:31 am
                  The Centre and the NDA,with opposition parties, take decisions jointly on the formation of a new state. The Leaders have to approach the Centre for talks. Mamta Banerjee,as CM of Bengal,does her duty to maintain peace and law order in the State. The Leaders,who want Gor nd,is wasting time by not having discussions with the Central Government. They are wasting time attacking Mamta Banerjee,who has no power for the formation of a new State.
                  Reply
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