Gorkhaland protests: GJM gives 12-hour ‘window’ to Darjeeling schools to evacuate students

Gorkhaland protests: Several rallies were taken out by the GJM in various parts of the hills demanding a separate state even as Internet services remained suspended.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 21, 2017 5:11 pm
Darjeeling, Gorkhaland protests, Darjeeling protest, GJM, Darjeeling violence, Darjeeling news, Darjeeling GJM, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Darjeeling unrest: St Joseph’s School, North Point. (Express photo: Partha Paul)

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading the protests for a separate Gorkhaland, on Wednesday gave a 12-hour window on June 23 to various schools in Darjeeling hills to evacuate students as normal life continues to be crippled on the seventh day of the indefinite shutdown. In a statement to PTI, GJM leader Binay Tamag said: “The students will be allowed to go to Siliguri and Rongpo only in school buses. The indefinite shutdown will continue. Only the students will be allowed to leave safely. Meanwhile, the strike has forced around 528 boarding students of 128-year-old St. Joseph’s School to stay on campus with many day scholars unable to attend school, as per reports in ANI. Utsav Thapa, a student, said they are safer inside school premises but are forced to take two exams in a day in place of one. Speaking to ANI, Thapa said: “We are safe inside. We used to have one exam a day, after the strike, we are forced to take two exams a day.

Meanwhile, the strike has forced around 528 boarding students of 128-year-old St. Joseph’s School to stay on campus with many day scholars unable to attend school, as per reports in ANI. Utsav Thapa, a student, said they are safer inside school premises but are forced to take two exams in a day in place of one. Speaking to ANI, Thapa said: “We are safe inside. We used to have one exam a day, after the strike, we are forced to take two exams a day. Darjeeling is home to some of the oldest and renowned boarding schools in the country.

Utsav Thapa, a student in Darjeeling. (Source: ANI)

In an all-party meeting convened by the GJM on Tuesday, a resolution was passed wherein it was decided that the shutdown would continue until security forces were withdrawn. The GJM also decided to withdraw from the tripartite accord on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). Also Read: Recent GTA polls, northeast militants behind unrest: West Bengal Government

Security forces and the police patrolled the streets of Darjeeling and police pickets were set up at the entry and exit routes. Aside from pharmacies, all other hotels, shops, and restaurants remained closed. According to PTI, there were also reports of some tea garden workers being beaten up by GJM supporters in Naxalbari area, which is around 65 km from Darjeeling. However, GJM, has denied the reports.

128-year-old St. Joseph’s School. (Source: ANI)

Several rallies were taken out by the GJM in various parts of the hills demanding a separate state even as Internet services remained suspended. Locals, however, termed it as an “oppressive step against a democratic movement.” The parties, which attended Tuesday’s meeting, also decided not to participate in the June 22 all-party meet called by the West Bengal government to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills. Also Read: Darjeeling unrest: Indefinite strike called by GJM continues

In a statement to reporters after the all-party meeting, GJM spokesperson T Arjun had said it was also decided that an all-party coordination committee would be formed which would soon send a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press for the demand for Gorkhaland.

 

Darjeeling, Darjeeling shutdown, darjeeling zoo, darjeeling zoo food supplies A protest rally at Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling on Sunday. Darjeeling: Security personnel fire teargas shells during a protest by GJM activists in Darjeeling on Saturday. PTI Photo by Ashok Bhaumik 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

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  1. T
    Theba
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:04 am
    Both, the WB Govt. and Darjeeling people, are to be blamed. The WB Govt. does not accept the fact that Darjeeling and parts of Kalimpong were under Gorkha Kingdom for 40 years (1775-1815). The WB Govt. pretends that there is no history of Darjeeling before tea plantation. And, the Darjeeling people do not want to review the history prior to tea plantation. The history of Darjeeling people starts from mass migration (now they are called the hill ethnic groups) following the Gorkha invasion to the east in 1770s. Consider the phrase from the infamous noon-pani (salt-water) oath during the treaty in 1774 that ended the series of wars “You, the Gorkhas, are like water and we the Kirant Limbu people, are like salt. You Gorkhas people want us to melt in you, but you will not remain as before.” The war displaced and uncaptured people during the Gorkha invasion entered Darjeeling and adjourning areas in 1770s. So, the history of Darjeeling dates back to 1770s not 1815 or 1835.
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    1. T
      Theba
      Jun 22, 2017 at 8:33 am
      The Gorkha Kingdom (now Nepal) already abolished the term Gorkha in 1930s, thereafter Nepal is been used instead. This is why Nepali language, rather than Gorkhali language, is listed in the Eight Scheduled in the Indian cons ution. Now, by Gorkha one should understand it as (1) the Gorkha district of Nepal (Remember the Gorkha Earthquake in April 2015?), (2) the army personal in Gorkha Rifles (an Indian Army Regiments), or (3) the army personal in Royal Gurkha Rifles owned by the British Army. Those having Nepali as their mother tongue should be called Indian-Nepali if they possess Indian citizenship, while those having mother tongue other than Nepali but possessing Nepali citizenship should be called, just Nepali. Other ethnic groups in the hills having their own mother tongue cannot be clubbed together to be called as Indian-Nepali (if they possess Indian citizenship). A person is to be called Nepali if and only if his/her mother tongue is Nepali or possess Nepali citizenship.
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      1. K
        Kashyap Ray
        Jun 21, 2017 at 11:32 pm
        School in Darjeeling should have been excused in this agitation . St Paul's , St Joseph's School, Mount Hermon School, Loreto are great ins utions set up by missionaries. Politicians have mercy. Leave the kids alone ....
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        1. M
          M G
          Jun 22, 2017 at 9:16 am
          The problem is that it seems that these so called "politcians" obviously did not go to any schools. That's the problem !
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          1. R
            Rajib
            Jun 22, 2017 at 10:07 am
            Jsend them ... politicians...the pink Floyd CD ...and tell them to listen to them
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          2. J
            Junga Bahadur Rana
            Jun 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm
            Give Gor nd or Gorkhali will return once again! 🔪
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            1. Kayshawn Taylor
              Jun 21, 2017 at 10:02 pm
              I support the demand for Gor nd. Demand for a separate state isn't something new in India and there are various reasons which justify their demands: First, their ethnicity as well as language are way different than Bengali's. Second, they are small in population as compared to Bengali people because of which they are underrepresented in state assembly and consequently the government. So, what happens that demands of a minority community are somewhere lost in between the voices of majority.
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