Criticising Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM)’s move to involve kids in the ongoing agitation in the north Bengal hills, a child rights body on Monday said it has summoned GJM chief Bimal Gurung to their office for child rights violation.
“We have already sent the GJM a show-cause letter last week for rallying the kids amid such a volatile situation in Darjeeling. The kids are not safe on the streets there. After today (Monday)’s incident, we have summoned Bimal Gurung to appear in our committee office on July 11,” Chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Ananya Chakraborty said.
Referring to a Calcutta High Court order from 2011, Chakraborty said children could not be used in any political rallies, and more importantly, in any form of rallies on a school day, as it was against the Right to Education.
Despite criticism from various quarters for rallying the kids in support of separate Gorkhaland on June 28, several children with their parents again joined a Darjeeling rally on Monday.
Denying allegations of forcing the kids to join the rallies, the Morcha leadership claimed there has been spontaneous participation from all around the hills. They also claimed that several parents had appealed to the party leadership to include their kids in the Gorkhaland movement.
“Everyone in the hills has just one thing in mind, Gorkhaland. Even the small kids here demand Gorkhaland. They are spontaneously joining the movement,” GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri claimed.