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Will fight for Gorkha community’s revival till death, says GJM chief Bimal Gurung

Gurung has called to intensify the protests for a separate Gorkhaland, saying the shutdown in Darjeeling will continue indefinitely.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 22:58 IST
Bimal Gurung, the head of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), resigned as the chief executive of the Gorkhkaland Territorial Administration on Friday.(AFP File Photo)

Throwing a challenge to the West Bengal government, the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung on Friday said the ongoing protest in the north Bengal hills would intensify, and vowed to fight for the community’s “revival” till death.

Gurung, who resigned as the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief executive along with other elected members of the body on Friday, said, “The agitation for Gorkhaland will continue. We have resigned from the GTA. Our one point demand is Gorkhaland.”

“I want to request everyone to participate in the movement for Gorkhaland from their heart. I will fight for the revival of our community till I have the last drop of blood in my body,” the GJM chief said amid loud cheers from his followers.

Appearing before media for the first time since a police raid at his residence on June 15, Gurung said, “I am not Kishenji (Maoist leader) who can be eliminated in a police encounter. I have not taken up arms against the country. I am fighting for the identity of the Gorkhas and in a democracy I have every right to do that.”

“The shutdown will continue indefinitely. No one knows when it will end. No relaxations will be given this time,” he added.

Alleging that the police had opened fire in the hills on June 17 in which three GJM activists were killed, Gurung said, “We (the GJM) have the video footage of the incident. I demand a CBI inquiry.”

Taking a swipe at chief minister Mamata Banerjee for claiming involvement of terrorists in the Darjeeling agitation, Gurung said the terrorists and bomb-making factories were in the plains of Bengal, not in the hills

“She should be asked where are terrorists and bomb factories found? In south Bengal or here in Darjeeling,” Gurung said.

“There have been incidents of riots in Howrah and Malda, but not a single incident in the hills. We are a peace-loving people,” he said.

Announcing en masse resignation of 43 GJM leaders from the GTA, Gurung said there would be no fresh GTA elections this time and vowed to disrupt the process, if initiated.

“Forty-three members of GTA have resigned today (Friday). The chapter of GTA is over now. There will be no fresh GTA election here. We will not let the election happen,” he asserted.

The Gorkha leader also vowed to burn the GTA regulation act documents before the public on June 27 as a symbolic protest against the board. He also announced that the GJM-sponsored all-party meeting had been rescheduled for June 29 from June 24.

“We will hold an all-party meeting on June 29 to discuss the future course of action. Separate state of Gorkhaland is our one-point agenda,” he added.

First Published: Jun 23, 2017 18:48 IST