Darjeeling-A beautiful land of the burning hills…

Swaroop Sharma | News Editor (Northeast) newscaptured.com

On 27th June Protesters cheer as they burn copies of the GTA and the agreement at Chowk Bazar Darjeeling. Eruption of the violent protest for a separate state of Gorkhaland, where the state government forces the hills people with a despotic rule. The hills has observed a complete shut down after the Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee decided to hold a Cabinet meeting here for the first time after 45 years dated 8th June , which was a motive behind the Bengal government for rubbing the salt on the wounds of the Gorkha’s pride.

“If a cow is killed the whole parliament shakes but when the three Gorkha’s from the hills gets shot none of the national leaders raises the issues, it is sad as it raises a question that the value of Indian Gorkha is less than the value of a cow.  We don’t see any reason in shooting a man in the face; we saw the body, his face was punctured with bullets,” as mentioned by the protester. The images of the dead body and injured victims began circulating online, at this the State administration — increasingly functioning from a ghettoized district magistrate’s office, which is guarded by innumerable of police and state forces  in rioting gear banning the internet and network connectivity. Writing this, the bandh has been extended by twenty sixth day as of today. The journalists has been covering the agitation have had a harrowing time filing, forcing some to shift to the plains. At this it was too reported that the news channel – Republic was charged and complain against excreting and putting false words and provoking the people to give more fire to the ongoing situation faced by the hill people from Darjeeling.

Gorkhaland movement is 110 years old movement, along the way there have been various treaties, agreements, promises of autonomy and even a sixth-schedule sheltered status. In 1986-88 agitation that turned blood shed under the GNLF leadership claimed 1,200 lives. People are restless again and out on the streets every day in thousands, raising slogans, protesting, demanding. The security forces are shooting to kill. And as violence begets violence, police and civilian vehicles have been burnt down, scores of policemen and protesters injured in the initial days of the agitation. Darjeeling and the surrounding hills are hanging by a fragile thread and a fortnight of peace, which threatens to snap at the slightest hint of a crackdown by the State.

It was on 27thJune, at the compactly packed Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling, it was 6 youths who have prepared an indestructible human chain, and all of them are naked on the upper portion of their body.  Thousands of tiny broken pieces of tube lights were stuck on their backs — speckled by dense tracks of blood. Waving her hands woman continuously did this act to prevent any bees from getting into open wounds. Just minutes earlier, people armed with tube lights had broken them on the backs of these six young volunteers, it was a message to the CM – “If CM – Mamta Banerjee wants blood, we’re not afraid.” At the center of the chain, old wooden fruit crates are piled up — I had been told earlier that they were going to make a spectacle of burning the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) accord and agreement, and a spectacle it is, indeed.

Television news reporters jostle for space as hundreds of photocopies of the accord and agreement are thrown into a fire that is now raging in the center of the commotion, and, in a sense, in Darjeeling itself. In the background, at least 20,000 residents of the hills chant “Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland”. Slogans against Banerjee teared the air, as also demands f or the evoking of paramilitary forces, which the protesters blame for the three killings a fortnight ago. Now, the question is state and the center remaining silent will not help to improve the situation of the people of the Darjeeling hills. Their force towards the media and people is not going to help in this situation, so a time has come that the institutions such as UNHRC and other such international institutions should come forward to stop this inhumane act of state commanding forces over the peaceful protestors of the Darjeeling hills. It is not a statehood demand but it demand for identity of being Indian Gorkhas.

Swaroop Sharma





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