Gorkhas in Mumbai express solidarity with statehood stir, criticise West Bengal govt

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.

 Gorkhas in Mumbai express solidarity with statehood stir, criticise West Bengal govt

Representational image. Reuters

"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.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 23:32:30 IST