The move, said leaders from the Dooars, was taken without the consensus of the Hills leaders. “We have always backed the Gorkhaland stir and being a central committee member, I thought it right to re-launch the movement at this time, when our brothers in Darjeeling are intensifying their movement,” said Madhukar Thapa, a GJM central committee member from the Dooars.
Thapa said that candlelight rallies, torch rallies and meetings across Dooars especially in the Nepali pockets will be held soon. “Our leaders have demanded 198 mouzas in the Dooars and 200 mouzas in the Terai. We don’t know what the leaders in Terai are doing, but we are not ready to miss this opportunity to launch the movement,” said Thapa. “We will carry out the movement in a peaceful and democratic manner. We have a population of over 4 lakh in these 198 mouzas which justifies our demand of inclusion of areas under Gorkhaland,” he added.
The decision of the GJM Dooars unit has irked the anti-GJM organizations. While the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad (ABAVP) termed the stir as an irresponsible move, which might hamper communal harmony, some Bengali chauvinist outfits have threatened to come down on the GJM supporters if they dared to take out rallies and put up posters demanding inclusion of the areas under a separate state.
Under the banner of Dooars Terai Joint Action Committee, the anti-GJM outfits (including Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee, Jana Jagaran, Jana Chetana and Nagarik Mancha) have submitted a memorandum to the Bengal CM and served copies of it to all administrative officials asking them to take steps, if GJM tried to re-launch its movement in the Dooars and Terai.
“If they start a movement in Dooars, people of Dooars will never accept that and will oppose it with all their might. The region has already witnessed violence in 2008 and this time we don’t want that. It is therefore we have asked the administration to step into before people take over the control. Otherwise Dooars will witness another blood spill,” said Tez Kumar Toppo, secretary of ABAVP’s Bengal chapter.
“Every time there has been a demand in Darjeeling, the Nepalis living in the plains demand inclusion of the region in Gorkhaland. This is very childish. We will never allow them to carry out any sort of movement in the plains. And if they do, they will have to face the consequences,” said Mukunda Mazumdar of Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee.