The political barometer of the Darjeeling Hills has started registering a high, with threats of yet another round of agitation hanging heavy in the air. A section of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has even threatened to take up arms for the creation of Gorkhaland.
A day after the GJM Central Committee announced the resurrection of the Gorkhaland agitation, the GJM Relling-Kaijaley unit held a meeting with the Youth and Women’s front of the GJM, under the leadership of Satish Pokhrel, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) member of the Relling-Kaijaley constituency. The meeting concluded on the note that they are ready to take up arms for the creation of Gorkhaland.
“I am ready to resign from the GTA. Our main aim is Gorkhaland. The Government gave us GTA but it is now in the process of creating Telangana. Our demand is older than Telangana. Our unit has 100 youths ready to go to any extent for Gorkhaland. We are ready to take up arms also” Pokhrel told HT.
The unit will be meeting GJM Supremo Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling on Friday. “Whatever step we take will be in consultation with Chief Bimal Gurung. We want him to lead us” added Pokhrel.
Meanwhile, the GJM Darjeeling sub-division committee is busy readying the stage for the formal announcement of the agitation slated for January 20 in Darjeeling town. “We will start with a rally from the Darjeeling Railway Station to the Chowk Bazar. The rally will culminate in a public meeting from where the future political programme for Gorkhaland will be announced” stated Dawa Lama, President, GJM Darjeeling sub division committee.
Lama stated that already 3000 posters have been printed in English and Nepali with the message that the Government of India must create Gorkhaland along with Telangana. These posters will be put up in the GTA area along with Terai and Dooars.
“The Government of India should realize that this region sharing four international borders (Nepal, Bhutan, China and Bangladesh) is a highly sensitive area. Any unrest in this region could lead to peace and stability of the entire nation being disturbed” warned Lama.
Meanwhile the West Bengal Government has adopted a guarded approach to this political devolopment. Steering clear of GJM’s threat to renew the Gorkhaland agitation, Gautam Deb, North Bengal Development Minister, talking to HT stated “The process of peace and development has begun in the Hills through the GTA. The State Government has ensured a steady flow of funds for infrastructure development, repair of roads, health sector and all round development of the Hills. We are optimistic that peace and development will prevail in the Hills.”