The activists of North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) alongwith with other democratic people of the city today held a protest demonstration against the brutal repression of Gorkha people by the West Bengal Government in Darjeeling It should be known that Gorkha people have been protesting in Darjeeling Hills since last few days demanding a separate state. The demand which reflects the concerns of the Gorkha people who populate the region should be respected and a referendum should be conducted to ascertain their aspirations. But, instead of democratically listening to the demands of the Gorkha people, the West Bengal Govt with an active help from BJP-led Central Government is curbing their movement. Such action of the state government not only denies them their right to democratically raise their demands, but also sows distrust among the people regarding the Government’s duty to protect their rights.
It should be known that the Gorkha people who populate the land, have historically been discriminated against. The persisting discrimination over the decades has bred dissatisfaction and anger among them against the Bengal Government which has ignored their demands. The Government should proactively take their concerns into account and initiate confidence-building measures in order to restore peace in the region.
A delegation of representatives also submitted a memorandum addressed to the West Bengal Government. Following demands were made in the memorandum:
1. Put an immediate stop to repression of the Gorkha people.
2. Withdraw Army immediately from Darjeeling hills.
3. Release all the Political Prisoners.
4. Initiate meaningful dialogue with people’s representatives.
5. Organize a referendum to ascertain people’s aspirations.
6. Cultural and linguistic rights of people must be upheld.
7. Immediately revoke Internet Ban.
NEFIS stands against repression of people’s movements and will be further escalating its movement, if the demands are not immediately met.
This Press Release was sent by Chinglen Khumukcham, who is the Convener of North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS), and can be contacted at nefis(dot)delhi(at)gmail(dot)com.