The protest in the hills demanding for a separate state of Gorkhaland have reached a violent level, after raids were conducted on the residence of GJM Chief Bimal Gurung on Thursday.
Back in 2011 when Mamata Banerjee took over as the CM of West Bengal, she has assured that the issue she had settled the Gorkhaland issue, but looking at the prevailing political condition, it does not seem so. Even if seen in the past events, the issue for a separate state has always been arising after every 2-3 years. But the protest demonstrated this time has reached a higher level, as never the GJM were witnessed to get violent in the earlier protests.
The slogans used by the Banerjee government that the hills are smiling is proving otherwise in the present situation as the hills are on fire as of now.
Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary, has called an indefinite strike in the hills. Also, Pedong police station in Kalimpong and the hill top tourist lodge of West Bengal in Kalimpong were set on fire. Just a few minutes after this incident a vehicle of a news channel was also set on fire.
SS Ahluwalia, BJP MP from Darjeeling, has alleged Banerjee to be responsible for this situation. He said that The tripartite agreement that was signed in 2011 in presence of then home minister P Chidambaram and CM Banerjee appears to be unsuccessful and faulty. The agreement was made with the clause that the morcha would not drop the demand of Gorkhaland. This is the reason for the problem that recurs in every 2-3 years. He further added that to restore peace in the hills the police actions should be stopped immediately. He also urged the Centre to intervene to handle the situation.
With the GTA agreement signed in 2011, it brought the Gorkhas to a common platform with the state and Centre for forming an semi-autonomous council. But the agreement with the government seems to be failing for the second time. The first time it failed when DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) was formed, that continued for 20 years till the chairman and the GNLF leader of the Gorkhaland movement, Subhas Ghising was dethroned in 2007.
“We had trusted Mamata, but she has cheated on us. She had sent so many policemen here and called army. But, she does know Gorkhas would lose restraint if there is any further police action. Under what authority, she ordered raid in the home of GTA chairman Bimal Gurung? How dare her police seal his residence,” thundered Asha Gurung, president of Mahila Morcha (GJM) and wife of Bimal Gurung. “If CM wants to turn Darjeeling into a Kashmir, let it be so. We were trying hard to control the Yuva Morcha members so far. But, something happens to Bimal Gurung, there would be violence everywhere,” she added.
B K Pradhan, a senior advocate and the head of Darjeeling civil society showing concern over the prevailing situation in the hills said that, the governments, both the Centre and the state, should address the actual issue seriously.