Stone-pelters of Darjeeling giving hard time to law-keepers

With the state government making it mandatory to learn Bengali in the schools of Bengal, the people of Darjeeling, whose local lingo and mother tongue is Nepali, felt that it was a threat of infringement into their cultural rights.

By: PTI | Darjeeling | Updated: June 19, 2017 3:53 pm
darjeeling, stone-pelters, india news, indian express news With their agility and intimate knowledge of the local terrain, the youths frequently switch positions while pelting stones giving the police a hard time. (Source: PTI Photo)

Stones and bottles in hand, the highly motivated youths are giving a tough time to the security forces in keeping law and order in the restive Darjeeling hills. Meet 18-year-old Pranab, a student of class XII, who has become a regular stone-pelter since June 8 when the first stirring of disturbance appeared after the ‘imposition’ of Bengali language in schools. “We want Gorkhaland. We want a separate state. It is a fight for our own identity and future. It is my right and I will have it,” he asserted. He is one of thousands of youths who have come out in open support for Gorkhaland and have challenged the security forces when they were lathi-charged.

“India is a democracy and in democracy everybody has the right to hold peaceful protest. How can someone stop us from organising protest? We did not resort to violence first, but if we are beaten up we will not sit idle. The police will be paid back in their own coin,” a third year student, whose face was covered with a black cloth, told PTI.

Well-versed with the ideals of communists like Karl Marx and Che Guevara, the student said, “I have my own identity and don’t want to get it mixed up with others. I respect all communities and religions. But everybody should understand our sentiments.”

Most of the youths who have indulged in stone-pelting are educated and come from good families.

“I am not a goon or a street guy whom the police can just beat up whenever it wants to. I am fighting for my right. Several of my family members have been in the Army and have served the nation. We are not anti-nationals. We just want a state of our own,” said 25-year-old Binay who has completed his masters in English from Calcutta University.

With the state government making it mandatory to learn Bengali in the schools of Bengal, the people of Darjeeling, whose local lingo and mother tongue is Nepali, felt that it was a threat of infringement into their cultural rights.

“Had the state government come out with a statement declaring that Bengali would not be imposed in the hills, the situation would not have turned so violent,” said a student of renowned college of Darjeeling.

With their agility and intimate knowledge of the local terrain, the youths frequently switch positions while pelting stones giving the police a hard time.

To be honest, the youths have stayed away from hurling stones at the Army, as defence forces have a passionate place in their heart with as many as 90 per cent of the families in Darjeeling having either a serving or a retired army personnel in their families.

“Indian Army has a special place in our heart. You will not find a single family in the hills which doesn’t have either a serving or a retired army personnel,” a 20-year-old youth said.

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  1. W
    Whatsinaname
    Jun 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm
    One of the tiest article i read recently.Bengali language has nit been imposed. Its routine for the Nepalese people to wage agitation and resort to violence under the garb of "democracy".They call themselves fighters but alas..barring a few,they are majorly goons who have blood and violence on their hands.And it is their inborn art to capture a neighborhood and then claim it.Take for example, Meghalaya and Bhutan. Going by history, Darjeeling was never a land of West Bengal but was annexed during independence. Good fact but who were the inhabitants originally? People who call themselves 'Gorkha' so as to create a new iden y beside the facade of someone else were never the original inhabitants of Darjeeling. And the ones who were once have been reduced to minority. Going by history, Darjeeling might well be merged with Sikkim but the people of Sikkim do not want that...now you know why. Because the nepali speaking people are parasites.
    Reply
    1. W
      whatsinaname killer
      Jun 20, 2017 at 12:06 am
      Then what do you have to say about the British?
      Reply
      1. W
        We
        Jun 20, 2017 at 7:52 am
        What a explanation from TMC. Please also note that Bengali was never even more than 5 in the Hill from ancient times. Then why Bengal rule Darjeeling. No developmental work have have been done. Bengal itself is a sick state. Bengali are going out side for jobs. The kind of treatment that have been shown to Darjeeling people remind us the British ruler.
        Reply
      2. T
        Ten
        Jun 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm
        Gorkhas have been treated brutally by Mamta's forces, the violence is the natural reaction for the same.Three GJM supporter have been killed. Forces should stop brutal attack on political rallies and all parties should start dialogue procedure.
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          Nishu
          Jun 19, 2017 at 7:35 pm
          "IS INDIA IS A DEMOCRACY COUNTRTY?" I am asking all of the Indian, Gorkha who fight for India and sacrifice their life for this great nation, why Gorkhas treating like we are not part of India? Gorkha paltan has help to won many battles in history, even Gorkha regiment has a great honour in U.K and appreciate the bravery. In India our brother's are fighting in borders and every time India government send a dead body of young soldier Gorkhas are protecting India in borders and yet we have to explain every Individual we are part of India? CM of west Bengal is calling us we have a link with the terrorist. The one who have a pure Indian heart and celebrate 15th August massively, and we are demanding our separate land CM is cutting off all the social network. Who is Mamta Banerjee look her back ground she came from Bangladesh and ruling and ruining West Bengal like anything. Our Mother tong is NEPALI why forcing us to learn Bengali?
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          1. T
            Ten
            Jun 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm
            False propaganda have been spread against GJM.
            Reply
          2. Y
            Yogen Thapa
            Jun 19, 2017 at 4:39 pm
            People do not seem to understand the scene here. Don't just follow the rumours. Try to go deep and understand the situation. In simple terms what is happening 1) Gor nd is an old issue since 1907 while in British rule and after the Modern India was established. 2) Darjeeling was never a part of West Bengal. It was just under administrative purpose, which, before was under Bihar. 3) And, regarding the current outrest, the darjeeling protestors do not possess or carry or in any way exhibit any kind of weapons. They are completely unarmed. In Kashmir, the security forces use pellet guns at armed protestants. It is they (armed security force) that are using weapons and shooting at unarmed Public (obviously on Chief Ministers order) to cast away the people from protest and to frighten away. Please remeber that once a General told " If a person says he does not fear anything, he is either lying or, He is a GORKHA". This please note.Also, there is no interference of any Human Rights NPar
            Reply
            1. J
              Jaijawan Jaikisan
              Jun 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm
              I think security forces should use the same language as protestors. Stone throwing is a new tactic in assymetric arson, if security forces shoot it will become PR problem. India should make mechanized stone throwers to throw back stones at stone throwers. Otherwise things would go out of control.
              Reply
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                nationalist
                Jun 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm
                One of the worst one sided reporting I have seen in a long time. It is trash journalism or at best paid journalism. Bengali is not mandatory and state government has said that several times. The gangsta leadership of GJM uses fear to subjugate the population and uses them as the shield to unleash terror on the rest including the government and the law. Who will have the guts in Darjeeling to not parti te in these stone throwing episodes or verbally supporting Gangsta Gurung's call for Gor nd ? Gurung used to be a driver before he backstabbed his own boss to take up the mantle of GJM. Now that financial audit is being done which will expose all the corruption that he may have perpetuated, suddenly he has whipped up the age old Gor nd issue. Darjeeling is a very small area with one MP. If such small areas are to be carved out, Gurgaon should also be a state.. and so on. Gurung, is hiding behind women and children because he is a bully and a typical coward.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Salman Kapadiya
                  Jun 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm
                  Oh...so has army started using pellet guns at stone pelters or they are only for Kashmiri's
                  Reply
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