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Firebrand Gorkha leader vows to steer clear of Gorkhaland path

india Updated: Mar 30, 2012 11:51 IST
Amitava Banerjee
Amitava Banerjee


Poor response from supporters forced firebrand Gorkha leader Chattrey Subba to abandon his plans for resurrecting the Gorkha Liberation Organisation (GLO) at Kalimpong in West Bengal on Thursday. An infuriated Subba vowed to steer clear of the “Gorkhaland agitation” path in future but decided to continue politicking.

“Agitation and politics are two different issues. Till now I have always been a part of an agitation for Gorkhaland but my supporters have let me down. I have decided to keep away from any form of Gorkhaland agitation. However politics is a separate issue altogether, it is a means of livelihood” was Subba’s response to questions from the media, as to whether he was planning to take political “Sanyas” (abstain from politics.)

“It was on public demand that I had decided to re-launch the GLO for Gorkhaland. Public had opined that people’s aspiration for Gorkhaland cannot be compromised. I had visited my supporters throughout the Hills and had asked them to assemble today at Kalimpong where I would hand them the GLO party flag. Now I know that it is not Gorkhaland that the public want. Earlier they were satisfied with the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and now with Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. It is all about money. I feel betrayed.” retorted an annoyed Subba.

The 71 year old had meticulously planned the revival of the GLO and chosen March 29 for the launch. He had even prepared GLO flags (White base, with the words “Gorkha Liberation Organisatisation” inscribed in green along with three stars.)

The rebel leader even stated that he had withdrawn Rs 1,50,000 to give shape to his resurrected party and a neo agitation for Gorkhaland.

Subba had invited his supporters from all over the Darjeeling Hills, to assemble at the Kalimpong Town Hall at 10am on Thursday. With majority of his supporters failing to turn up Subba left for his residence located at Dumra Bustee on the outskirts of Kalimpong town. At noon around 30 supporters had assembled in his residence.

When quizzed as to whether he was taking the decision of abstaining from any form of Gorkhaland agitation, a defiant Subba replied, “This decision is my own. It is not under any pressure. Till now I have never been pressurized nor do pressure tactics work on me."

Subba earlier used to head the militant wing of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) during the violent agitation of the 80’s led by Subash Ghising. He had however parted ways with Ghising with differences cropping up between the two over the acceptance of a development agency- the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988.

Subba then had floated a new outfit - Gorkha Liberation Organisation (GLO,) giving a clarion call for the continuing the Gorkhaland agitation. On March 24, 2001, Subba was arrested in connection with the Subash Ghising assassination bid case. He was finally acquitted on September 9, 2011, after having spent 10 long years behind bars in Jalpaiguri.