Bimal Gurung threatens fresh statehood agitation

DARJEELING 27 Jul 2016 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today vented his frustration and anger at the state government for its alleged interference and threatened to re-start the statehood movement. He said so during a programme organised by the party to observe Shahid Diwas, to commemorate the deaths of more than 1,200 people killed during the 1986 agitation. The GJM organised separate Shahid Diwas programmes in various parts of the hills to pay homage to those killed in the first statehood agitation and also felicitated the families of the martyrs.

Gurung is upset with chief minister Mamata Banerjee for forming community development boards, which he said, was a ploy to divide the hill people. He has repreatedly accused the state government  of interfering in the independent functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. And very recently, Gurung was visibly upset when the state government observed the birth anniversary of

Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya on July 13, which he claims, was conducted without adequate participation from the Gorkha community.

Bimal Gurung threatens fresh statehood agitation
GJM chief Bimal Gurung with his associate Roshan Giri during a media conference. File photo

Speaking at the programme today, a charged up Gurung said, “She (Banerjee) comes to Darjeeling and only sees the Kanchenjunga smiling. But she is unaffected by the people’s anguish.

Do not try to divide our community and test our tolerance. This is not good as in time a volcano will erupt in the hills and it will not be easy to handle.”

The GJM chief said the chief minister was trying to spread her party’s tentacles in the hills by playing on people’s sentiments. “The Bhanubhakta birth anniversary celebration was hijacked, and now the state government will also do the same with the July 27 Shahid Diwas programme. Such injustice and interference will only give rise to frustration among the people, which may take a terrible turn in the near future,” said Gurung.

He invoked the martyrs of the 1986 agitation saying the Shahid Diwas event could be a turning point for the hills. “In the first statehood movement, 1,200 died and in the second phase in 2007, seven sacrificed their lives. But now thousands may become martyrs. We must be mentally prepared to fight,” said Gurung.

The GJM chief had actually embarked on a padyatra last year to pursue the statehood demand, and today he said without specifying he would go far away from his family.

“I will be going far away from my family and will only return when a separate state is achieved. This is my last appeal to the people to support me as you have done in the past.

The youths must come forward and party leaders and Sabhasads must be prepared to struggle for a separate state and not only go to jail but also lay down their lives,” he said.

Gurung also took a dig at the central government urging it to understand the aspirations of the people. “We are not demanding a country but a separate state within the Union. The central government should understand this demand is our right and is justified. We want the Centre to give us justice,” he said.


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