Darjeeling: Gorkhaland supporters in the Hills are all ears for a positive response from the Centre by August 15 as they are prepared to send a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation to New Delhi on Saturday. The high expectations have a flip side, which could trigger a no holds-barred violence in the Hills out of desperation if the other stakeholders, Centre and state, fail to give the agitators a way out.
The apprehension runs alongside the hope as cops have information that 325 kilos of explosives stored on the NHPC premises under Pul Bazar police station in Bijanbari block have gone missing a month ago. “It can turn fatal if they fall in wrong hands,” a senior police officer in Darjeeling said.
But till now, the Hills looked up to the brighter side with GJM leaders placing all their hopes on the Centre. “We are definitely banking on the Centre. We are in alliance with the BJP government and they are looking at our demands positively,” said Kalyan Dewan, convener of Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC). He claimed that GJM is also in touch with the Nationalist Congress Party that gave a hearing to the Gorkhaland cause.
Morcha central committee member Swaraj Thapa said that they are expecting “some moves from the Centre” by August 15. “Talks are on at various platforms and no timeline can be formed in such situations. ,” Thapa said.
Saying so, they trained the guns at the Mamata Banerjee government. The GJM’s anti-Mamata government stance is fuelled by apprehension that the state was trying to work on the GNLF demand for greater autonomy under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution along with other smaller hill outfits in a bid to take away the wind out of GJM’s sail.
State and central forces, on the other hand, stepped up their presence in other vulnerable areas of the Hills other than Darjeeling on Friday anticipating a fierce backlash in case GMCC hits the wall.