Unrest brewing in Darjeeling hills over rising demands for a separate Gorkhaland


Asked why did the GNLF join hands with the GJM, its sworn enemy in the hills, Zimba said, "It is true that we have our own differences, but for the sake of the people we have made a decision to keep aside our differences and fight for Gorkhaland".

A report from Kalimpong said GJM Nari Morcha leader Karuna Gurung was today arrested.

"Some of the premises of Gurung and other GJM activists were raided". Just as the NDA-led government at the Centre has been criticised for trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states, the latter can't justify imposing regional languages within their own jurisdictions. We strongly feel that this insensitivity and blatant misrepresentation of our cultural and traditional tools by West Bengal Government is indicative of why we need Gorkhaland, for our rights, culture, heritage and traditions have been disregarded.

Meanwhile, in an all-party meeting on Tuesday called by the GJM and attended by Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (apolitical), Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists and BJP, the parties chose to show unity and fight for the separate state. Police have found a few bows and couple of dozen arrows, few rusted spades, a rusted axe, a rusted sickle and a couple of boxes of firecrackers. We conducted the raids on the basis of concrete information.

CPI (M) leader Ashok Bhattacharya today demanded immediate convening of an all party meeting or a tri-partite talk to find out an amicable and peaceful settlement, saying the situation in Darjeeling was grave.

Claiming that all sorts of legal action as per law against the people involved in collecting arms, Chaturvedi said any "peace-minded person will not keep such material".

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"The state government and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee must immediately initiate a political process on the Darjeeling situation in order to resolve the issues and restore normalcy", the statement added.

Meanwhile, the GJM leadership has claimed that the recovered arrows and bows a part of the hill's tradition and not meant to attack anyone. GNLF along with five other hill-based political outfits attended the all-party meeting called by GJM at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club on Tuesday.

The raid on Mr. Gurung's residence came on the fourth day of the GJM-sponsored strike in the government and GTA offices in the hills.

"We are tribals, about to hold our traditional archery competition". He had asked tourists to avoid visiting Darjeeling.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will meet a Gorkha Mukti Morcha (GJM) delegatoion this evening after Darjeeling witnessed an upsurge of violence and the matter turned into a crisis for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.