NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-New Democracy staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Saturday in support of the demand for Gorkhaland in West Bengal.
Speaking on the occasion, party leaders including Delhi Committee secretary Comrade Aparna criticised deployment of troops in the region to suppress the movement when the protesters were using peaceful relay hunger strike to make their point.
‘Originally not part of West Bengal’
The party leaders pointed out that the area for which a separate State was being demanded had never originally been part of West Bengal. The area under question took shape when the British annexed parts of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim in 1866. It was kept by the British as an “excluded area” till 1935 and “partially excluded area” till 1947. Post-Independence it was given to the State of West Bengal, they contended.
They argued that when so many other States had been re-organised since the country’s Independence, the demand for Gorkhaland should not be treated as an “untouchable topic”. Even the undivided Communist Party of India had supported the demand for “Gorakhstan”, which was now being referred to as “Gorakhaland”, the party leaders pointed out.
According to the party, the only reason why the State of West Bengal did not want to part with this region was its tremendous economic potential. With its tree plantations and tourism, the area brought revenue to the State, which was otherwise poor and backward, it pointed out.