Gorkhaland Agitation Again

Despite the tripartite agreement in last July, the Gorkhas of Darjeeling have resumed their Gorkhaland agitation again<br><STRONG>UMA KANTA KHANAL</STRONG> in Jhapa

Dec. 28, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 05 No. -12 Dec. 23-2011 (Poush 08,2068)<BR>

Although Gorkhaland agitators signed the agreement with the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee a few months back on the promise of autonomy to the hills, they don’t seem ready to settle with it.

At the time of the tripartite agreement, the Gorkhas of Darjeeling and the Terai were enthusiastic.

When the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was addressing a mass meeting in Siliguri on July 18, the Gorkhas of Darjeeling continued clapping. She was telling that Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong would get a good future.

It is already five months after the agreement was signed to get Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling. When they started facing the administration, they are now feeling this was not their aspiration.

The youth wing of the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha has now declared the renewal of their movement for 'Gorkhaland'.

"It is time to renew the movement for Gorkhaland as the newly-formed Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) will not be able to fully meet the aspiration of the hill people," Gorkha Yuba Morcha chief Priyabardhan Rai told a rally at Mongpu.

Rai emphasized that the Gorkhas should not forget the demand of more than a century. He also announced a series of agitation programmes further.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung's wife Asha, who heads the women wing of Morcha, also has support to the newly declared agitation.

Pointing towards the chief minister Mamata Banerjee's promise to turn Darjeeling into Switzerland, GJYM organizing Secretary Siddhant Rai said, "We don't want Switzerland. Give us Gorkhaland and we will turn it into something better than Switzerland."

But the central Gorkha leaders were not in the programme during the declaration of the agitation.

The speakers in the programme said that they will keep a close watch on the state and centre henceforth.

The youth organization is supposed to hold a series of public meetings and rallies across the three Hills subdivisions and in the plains of Siliguri from January 17 till February 5. A signature campaign will also be undertaken from January 1 to 30 to garner support for a separate state.

"These agitations are to make the youths of the Hills aware of the statehood demand and the need for it. We will also take this opportunity to strengthen our party units across the region," said Priya Bardan Rai-General Secretary of GJYM.

On February 12, the GJYM will announce the strategy to take the Gorkhaland demand forward.

The demand of Gorkhaland has also been raised with the task force of a non-political organization - Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh union leaders and leaders of the opposition in Delhi.

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