The students were at the helm of the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation with rallies and public meetings in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong on Tuesday.
Many of the student speakers made it clear that they were ready to sacrifice their studies.
Four GJM supporters were arrested for torching a Nano in Kalimpong.
The day started with rallies by students from the age group of 12 to 18 in all hill towns.
The rallies culminated in public meetings.
As per the directive of the GJM, the students will be spearheading the movement till August 31 under the banner of Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyarthi Morcha.
Bubbling with enthusiasm, young voices shouted, “We want Gorkhaland, We want justice” in unison. The rallies culminated at the Chowk Bazar where it was the turn of the students to address the gathering.
The public meeting opened with the chorus, “We shall overcome” sung in Nepali, Hindi and English.
“The time has come for the government to listen to the voice of Gorkhaland. For the past 107 years the Government has ignored our legitimate demand. The Gorkhas have made the supreme sacrifice time and again for this country but have been suppressed and exploited. However this time they cannot suppress our agitation,” said Rohit Bikram Sharma, central committee member of the GJVM.
Keval Raj Pokhrel also of the GJVM said, “It is for the Gorkhas that this countries borders are secure yet the names of none of them or martyrs appear in Bengal’s text books. This is our final battle for Gorkhaland and Gorkhas have not learnt to accept defeat.” Shiva Rai, a Darjeeling Government High School student said, “We are ready to sacrifice our education for Gorkhaland. We want to strengthen the hands of Bimal Gurung.”
An elated Gurung stood on the sidelines carefully listening.
“The students have seen their parents, their relatives take part in the agitation and decided to do their share. They are the future citizens of Gorkhaland. It is a spontaneous movement on the part of the students and we are just supporting them,” said Gurung.
A group of school students have decided to collect funds for Gorkhaland which they will hand over to the GJM.
“We thank them for this noble gesture. We will need the funds for fighting court cases,” added Gurung.
A Nano (WB 746285) was torched at around 6:30am on Tuesday. Masked miscreants set fire to the vehicle, which was on its way from Pedong to Siliguri carrying a patient. The passengers escaped unhurt.