The working president of the Trinamool Congress in the hills of Darjeeling, Khawas, resigned from the party on Wednesday along with the district committee vice-president Parishma Giri and Kurseong sub-division vice-president Mohan Lama. The resignations come close on the heels of several members resigning from different development boards belonging to different communities in the Darjeeling Hills (such as the Lepcha and Tamang development boards) over the past few days.
Speaking with the Indian Express Khawas said,”I have put in my resignation today to my president Rajen Mukhia. The Gorkhaland movement has become a mass movement — not just in Darjeeling but across the country with Gorkhas in other cities from Delhi to Bangalore supporting it. I cannot keep myself aloof from this.”
TMC hills president Rajen Mukhia, however, told The Indian Express that Khawas had resigned under pressure, although latter had denied this. “Yesterday Khawas’s home in Darjeeling was attacked. A petrol bomb was thrown by some unidentified people. He is leaving the TMC in fear. He told me that he had to save his life and his home. The Morcha has threatened anyone who does not resign from the TMC that his home will be burnt and he will be beaten up. The resignations today were out of fear,” said Mukhia.
Mukhia said while he too was under pressure to resign, and “also scared” he lives in Panighata, at a distance from Darjeeling town. Khawas however, lived in the heart of Darjeeling. At the time of the attack, Khawas was in Siliguri with his family.
“Yes there was an attack on my home yesterday by some miscreants, but I don’t want to talk about that. I am leaving TMC because I support this mass movement and want to join it,”said Khawas.
Mukhia, meanwhile, said that he had informed senior TMC leaders of the development. “The problem in the hills right now is that there is no administration and no law and order. The government is not being able to handle the situation. The police are fearful for their lives right now, so how can the common man protect himself,” said Mukhia.