Hill people back ‘non-violent’ movement for Gorkhaland

Darjeeling (PTI): The indefinite bandh called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has hit the people of the Darjeeling hills hard, but they nonetheless swear by GJM chief Bimal Gurung, who has expressed willingness to achieve Gorkhaland following the path of Mahatma Gandhi.
Chandra Bahadur Rai, an octogenarian who lost his only son in the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) movement, said he could trust Bimal Gurung because “he has achieved two things – defused the 6th Schedule bomb and ousted Subhas Ghising.”
“Only Gorkhaland remains to be achieved. But at the same time, we don’t want anymore bloodshed. Gurung has adopted the path of non-violence which is why people support him.
“If Mahatma could achieve freedom for the country, why can’t we get a separate state through a peaceful movement?,” he asked.
Tendu Sherpa, who runs a business venture in Sikkim, said autonomy provided by the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council could not achieve much.
“Darjeeling has more resources than Sikkim, but there is a world of difference in the standard of living. We have to attain Gorkhaland since the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council could not do much in past two decades,” he said.
Traders like 25-year-old Anju Lama, who runs a LPG spare parts sales and service centre, are even ready to run into losses if it means greater good. “My elder brother was scarred for life after being hit by a stone thrown by a cadre during a GNF rally. We can suffer business loss but we don’t want anymore violence,” she said.
According to official sources, 266 persons, including 20 securitymen and 80 CPI(M) supporters were killed and 1,085 persons injured between August 1986 and July 1988 during the GNLF movement.
In comparison, during the seven months of the agitation by the GJM there has been no loss of life. (Hindu)

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