Dharamshala: Members of Himachal and Punjab Gorkha Association, which included a large number of ladies, paraded peacefully in the streets here today in support of the demand of Gorkhaland raised in and around Darjeeling hills. The association also held a meeting at the war memorial site in the township.
President of the association Ravinder Singh Rana said, “ The West Bengal government is forcibly introducing Bengali Language in Darjeeling hills, which is unacceptable to the Gorkha community.”
Later the association also handed a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in support of the Darjeeling movement.
Plans of making Bengali compulsory subject upto Class 10 in West Bengal by the Mamta Banerjee government has precipitated unrest in Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars region. Faced with protests in the hills, though the chief minister later changed her position, but the issue has triggered the decades old issue about a demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland
A violent protest for a separate state in the 1980’s led by Subhash Ghising had resulted in the death of many and officially 1200 deaths were accounted for. The Ghising led Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) had resulted in formation of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), an autonomous body.
On June 17, 2017, four protestors died in a police firing at Darjeeling which has aggravated the situation.
Rallies and solidarity marches in support of the Gorkha agitation have been held in Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, the North Eastern states and in several foreign countries including USA, West Asian countries, France, Netherlands and others.
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.