Gorkhaland Protests Touched Kolkata

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Kolkata: Over 300 students gathered in a silent candle rally at the campus of Jadavpur University (JU) to support the demand for Gorkhaland on Tuesday night. Dozens of highlanders and north-easterners from outside also attended the occasion.

The protesters had carried placards reading “We support #Gorkhaland”, “Gorkhaland is a just demand”, and “Withdraw armed forces from Darjeeling” and “Bengali travel enthusiasts cannot decide the fate of Darjeeling people”.

Though the participants are mostly hill people, around 50 Bengalis from various left wing organizations had participated in the rally. May be it’s an irony of fate. Because, in time of the Left Front, the administration had become restless and arrogant to cope with the Gorkaland movement. At last, the Centre had to intervene. Tuesday’s rally was organised by two small political groups: the Gorkha Solidarity Forum and the People’s Collective.

One of the protesters, an Economics undergraduate asked not to be identified, said that he had spent four days in the hills filming the demonstrations there, which had provoked an FIR against him by the Kurseong police. “This is the height of repression by the state,” he claimed.

“This is just the beginning,” said Bimal Sherpa, another JU student. “Given rising of the protests among the hill people, we have decided to organize a series of peaceful agitations in Kolkata.”

Participants said that there are more than 400 Nepali, Gorkhali and several other north-eastern language students in JU. Pratik, a PhD candidate in the Economics faculty and resident of Darjeeling, said that the rally would be even bigger had it not occurred during the summer break.