'Mission Gorkhaland' is task for students, says GJM

Darjeeling, Sep 19 : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading a separatist movement in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills, Thursday said, "working for the creation of Gorkhaland will be a task for all students of the region".

"Mission Gorkhaland" will be the name and task for all the students in the Dooars and Hills, as the floodplains and the foothills of the eastern Himalayas are called.

"The students must play an active role in the formation of Gorkhaland. The students will create awareness for Gorkhaland," GJM supremo Bimal Gurung said.

The Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC), a forum of pro-Gorkhaland parties led by the GJM, has been spearheading agitation for a separate Gorkhaland. The movement has been intensified in the wake of the decision by the United Progressive Alliance, the coalition at the centre, to carve out a separate Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

The demand is for a new state of Gorkhaland, to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and neighbouring Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal.

The GJAC Sep 10 suspended its agitation till Oct 20, in deference to the appeal by union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to call off the stir to facilitate tripartite talks. However, it has set a condition that the talks be convened by Oct 20.

Gurung, who earlier asked schools to "discuss the Gorkhaland issue in the morning assembly", said a team comprising 21 students will also go to Delhi and meet various ministers to press for the creation of Gorkhaland.

"Gorkhaland is not for me, but for these students," Gurung said. He earlier asked students to fax their demand to the prime minister and the president, and asserted that Darjeeling's students were ready to sacrifice their education for Gorkhaland.

The GJM has also said that after Oct 20, it will go for an "intense agitation" for the cause of Gorkhaland that could take the shape of a "revolution".

--IANS (Posted on 19-09-2013)

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