We want Gorkhaland: Death toll from Darjeeling protests climbs to 4

Sunday, July 9th, 2017
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Citizen Journalism Project

New Delhi, July 9

JAI BIR GORKHALI

Rest in peace..As the last rites of saheed Tashi Bhutia took place in Sonada.

Posted by Gorkhaland Supporter on Saturday, July 8, 2017

Horrific video footage and photographs show brutal oppression on #Gorkhaland supporters by Indian security forces. Four Gorkhaland supporters have died after Indian security forces opened fire protesters on Saturday.

# GorkhaliSpot Dead in FiringJust before an Hour in Darjeeling Town RIP

Posted by Kurseong – The Land Of White Orchid on Saturday, July 8, 2017

In a statement, Gorkha Mukti Morcha Coordinator Bimal Gurung said that one protester died while undergoing treatment on Sunday. The deceased has been identified as Aasha Kumari.

Posted by We Want Gorkhaland on Friday, July 7, 2017

Three people had died on Saturday. Local media identified the deceased as Tashi Bhutia, owner of a butcher shop, Samir Gurung, a cook, and Suraj Sundas, a labourer.  The deceased are scheduled to be cremated on Sunday.  India security forces are apprehensive of escalation in violence in wake of the killing.

Posted by Gorkha on Saturday, July 8, 2017

Gorkha Mukti Morcha, an alliance of various parties spearheading the protest, has so far refused to sit in talks with state government. Gorkhaland supporters have said that their struggle for identity would not stop until their demands —including a separate Gorkhaland state—are met.

Posted by We Want Gorkhaland on Saturday, July 8, 2017

Protest has been raging in Darjeeling and surrounding hills since early June with fresh demand for a separate state.

The protest was triggered by a decision taken by West Bengal government on May 15 to make Bengali compulsory in all schools, including private English medium schools of the State.  The decision, which came ahead of civic polls in the state, was seen as an effort to gain sympathy of Bengali speaking voters.

Though the ruling All India Trinamool Congress later backtracked from the decision, the damage was already done.

 

What is Gorkhaland?

Gorkhaland is a political and identity movement of Nepalese-speaking Indian Gorkha community of North Bengal with a distinct history, language and culture.

The Gorkhaland constitutes the hills of Darjeeling, areas of Dooars and Siliguri Terai regions in West Bengal. The current Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) constitutes three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik, and some areas of Siliguri subdivision and the whole of Kalimpong district.

Indian Gorkha’s demand for statehood is one of the oldest in the country. The community has long been a victim of racial discrimination and exclusion in their in their own territory.

In 1907, almost 40 years before India’s independence from British Raj, the Hillmen’s Association of Darjeeling submitted a memorandum to Minto-Morley Reforms demanding a separate administrative-setup.

More than 3,000 people are believed to have sacrificed their lives for the cause in various agitations that rocked the region since India’s independence, according to some unofficial estimates. But successive governments over the last seven decades have ignored their demand.

 

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