Darjeeling on the boil over Mamata's 'imposition' of Bengali: Top developments

After Gorkha Janmukti Morcha cadres clashed with police, Army was called in to control the situation.

 |  3-minute read |   08-06-2017
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Darjeeling witnessed massive protests on June 8 with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) members blazing police vehicles, pelting stones at the policemen, who used tear-gas shells to disperse the mob.

The GJM was protesting against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's statement last week that Bengali would be made compulsory for students upto Class 10 in government schools across the state.

Many policemen have been injured and Mamata Banerjee has convened an emergency meeting at the Darjeeling Raj Bhavan. Army was deployed after GJM supporters turned violent and the police failed to contain the protestors.

Here are the top develeopments:

1. The Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha outfit has been campaigning for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland. The outfit has been demanding Nepali as a language instead or can accept Hindi, but is strictly against the making of Bengali mandatory in all schools across the state.


2. They were protesting, among other things, the "imposition of Bengali language in the schools in the hills".

3. According to media reports, Army has been deployed in Darjeeling after police failed to contain the violent protesters.

4. Protesting GJM supporters attacked the police, injuring several personnel and vandalising cars, even as CM Mamata Banerjee held a cabinet meeting for the first time in the hills, in an attempt to highlight the importance of the region.

3. "The TMC is systematically trying to use police and its goons to disrupt peace in the hills. Today the police resorted to unprovoked baton charge and firing of tear gas shells," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told PTI.

4. On the GJM agitation, Mamata Banerjee said, "They have the democratic right. Let them do it. They have no issue. Let there be competition for development,"

5. On the alleged "imposition of Bengali language" in schools in the hills, she reiterated that Bengali was not made a compulsory subject. "Rather, we gave recognition to the Nepali language," she said.

"The people in the hill areas have been demanding development. Nothing had happened during the Left rule of 34 years, but things have changed after our government took over. We have done so many development works here. I am proud to say that I am the first chief minister to visit the hills for more than 100 times," she added.

6. The GJM has called a 12-hour bandh in the hills on Friday, June 9, the party’s spokesperson Roshan Giri said.

7. This was the first time Banerjee has held a cabinet meeting in Darjeeling, which has been a stronghold of the Gorkhas.

Also read: Why BJP's rise in Bengal has rocked Mamata's boat


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