Ripples of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state in the north West Bengal hills were felt in the city as a section of Jadavpur University students participated in a silent rally on Tuesday expressing solidarity with the people of Darjeeling amid the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in the region.
Students of the varsity and concerned citizens participating in the Gorkha Democratic Forum (People’s Collective)-called rally held aloft posters in English and Nepali demanding the immediate withdrawal of paramilitary forces from the hills.
Raising their pitch for a permanent solution to the issue, the varsity students hailing from Darjeeling said it is “high time that the Centre and state should understand the prevailing crisis in the region can neither be resolved through the deployment of large paramilitary forces nor through temporary negotiation such as GTA/DGHC/Sixth Schedule”.
The GJM announced an indefinite general strike from June 12 in the hills encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars (foothills covering stretches of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district) protesting against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools.
The strike was called even as the Chief Minister assured that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts.