DARJEELING: NOW that the Darjeeling police have filed murder charges against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bhimal Gurung and his arrest is likely once Mamata Banerjee returns from the Netherlands, the worst days of Darjeeling Hills may be yet to come.
Despite having in place a heavy security apparatus that has brought the situation largely under control, the government of Mamata Banerjee has asked New Delhi to send in more troops, indicating that the government may be preparing for a deterioration of the situation.
Asked about the possibility of Gurung’s arrest, Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi told the New Indian Express: “We will take legal action very soon. I won’t answer the question about his arrest until after the return of the chief minister.”
Meanwhile, the youth of Darjeeling hills, have threatened to step up their agitation if Gurung is arrested. “If Bimal daaju (big brother in Nepali) is arrested, we will not keep quite and do Gandhigiri, said a young agitator. The hills will burn more,” a youth protester called Shailendra Yonzon said.
With even parties such as Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and Jan Andolan Party (JAP), who were former allies of Trinamool Congress, accepting Bimal Gurung as leader of the movement, the GJM supremo has emerged as the most influential Gorkha leader since Subhash Ghising.
The BJP came under criticism for not coming openly in support of the Gorkha statehood movement. “At the most the proposed Gorkhaland state would have two MPs and 12 MLAs. On the other hand, there are 40 other MPs throughout the plains of West Bengal. BJP doesn’t want to support Gorkhaland precisely because of that,” said political analyst Upendra Pradhan. Others feel that the Centre is hesitating to support Gorkhaland statehood fearing that other statehood demands may grow stronger.