Gorkhas in Mumbai express solidarity with statehood stir, criticise West Bengal govt
Hundreds of Gorkhas living in the city on Thursday gathered at Azad Maidan and expressed solidarity with the ongoing agitation in Darjeeling hills in West Bengal for a separate Gorkhaland state
Mumbai: Hundreds of Gorkhas living in the city on Thursday gathered at Azad Maidan and expressed solidarity with the ongoing agitation in Darjeeling hills in West Bengal for a separate Gorkhaland state.
They also denounced the "repressive" tactics employed by the West Bengal government to end the agitation.
"On one hand, we (Gorkhas) are fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and on the other, the West Bengal government is treating us like terrorists. This is very painful and unacceptable," said Dhruv Kumar, an agitator, at the protest site in south Mumbai.
Almost five lakh Gorkhas live in Mumbai and hundreds of them, including women and children, assembled at Azad Maidan braving heavy rains.
The protesters shouted slogans supporting the formation of Gorkhaland and denouncing the TMC government.
"We vehemently condemn the move to suppress our democratic rights as Indians. We are appalled by the killing of our people and the atrocities committed by the West Bengal Police," Kumar said.
Another agitator said, "This is solely a people's movement with no political affiliations. We represent no political agenda but only Gorkhas from all over the country."
"Darjeeling is burning. Gorkhas are known for their bravery, but they are facing violence... we want justice..." the agitators shouted.
A third protester said, "We want restoration of peace back home and it is our fundamental right to demand a separate state of Gorkhaland."
Darjeeling is witnessing unrest for the last eight days after the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) launched an indefinite agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of West Bengal.
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The police said that one of the militants, identified as Fayaz War, was involved in several attacks and killings of civilians and security personnel. He was the last perpetrator of violence in north Kashmir
An official statement said that a blinking red light was observed by the troops at a height of 200 metres but the object went back across the border after personnel fired at it