Kolkata: In a major setback for the West Bengal government, most members of the various development boards in the Hills resigned from their posts on Monday – Day 19 of the protests .
There are 16 development boards and all of them were set-up by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the growth of indigenous people living in the Hills. The Morcha leaders alleged that these boards were formed to create a rift among the Gorkha community.
Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leader Binoy Tamang said, “All of them resigned today to fight for a separate state of Gorkhaland. There was an attempt to divide us but now we are united.”
After putting in their resignation letters, the members then participated in a silent rally to condemn the role of the state government and demanded immediate formation of Gorkhaland.
A large numbers of Gorkha children also participated in a rally in Darjeeling. In the morning, the children with ‘We Want Gorkhaland’ written on their body gathered at Mall Road and raised slogans against the state government for torturing Hill people.
Morcha leaders alleged that the state government sponsored ‘anti-Gorkhaland forces’ are creating violence in the hills to defame the Morcha leaders. Sensing conspiracy, the GJM has demanded a CBI inquiry in to killing of Gorkha leaders in alleged police firing on June 17.
While welcoming the Sikkim government’s support for a separate state, he said, “We condemn the attack on Sikkim bound vehicles by TMC backed ‘anti-Gorkhaland forces’. Sikkim and Darjeeling have always shared a cordial and warm relationship. We are thankful to the Sikkim government for extending their support to us. India being a democratic country, everyone has the right to voice out their opinion and that does not mean that Sikkimese vehicles should be vandalized,” he said.
Meanwhile, all boarding schools of Darjeeling - which were scheduled to reopen on July 4 - have extended their vacation due to the indefinite shutdown in the Hills.
On June 23, GJM had given a 12-hour time to the schools to evacuate all the boarders.