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27 May 2017

GJMM protests Bengali 'imposition'... Morcha demands immediate withdrawal of three-language decision

SNS, Kalimpong, 26 May 2017: The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and its student and youth wings jointly took out a procession protesting against the state government's decision to 'impose' Bengali language in schools in the hills, which resulted in a confrontation with police on the Main Road in Kalimpong town today as no permission had been obtained for the rally in the area.
Permission had been given for the procession to go around the town from Dambar Chowk to 10th Mile and to proceed to the district magistrate's office from Rishi Road but GJMM considering the weather and traffic conditions, decided to take a shortcut starting from Dambar Chawk to Main Road which created a chaotic situation when the law enforcers tried to stop them on Main Road.
Annoyed rallyists started protesting against the police yelling anti- Bengal slogans and accusing the law enforcers of acting as the Trinamul Congres's puppets.
Police were unable to control the crowd, which headed towards Thana-dara as they wanted to submit a memorandum to the District Magistrate.
The police somehow managed to redirect them towards a cinema hall, another route to reach the DM's office. After the rally reached the outer premise of the district magistrate's office, the GJMM's delegation that was supposed to meet him was asked to wait for some time as the DM was in a meeting.
After the DM, Dr Biswanath, sent a message to only allow two people inside, the crowd became restive again because ten of them wanted to meet him. When the police tried to pacify them, the crowd started shouting slogans 'DM go back!' TMC's DM go back!'
GJMM accused police and the DM of being biased against the Morcha.
With the GJMM insisting that a ten - person delegation would meet the DM, they later left the premise with out meeting Dr Biswanath, after some discussion with the Kalimpong Superintendent of Police.
In them memorandum which they failed to submit today, the GJMM called on the Bengal government to withdraw the decision of introducing Bengali language in the schools in the Hills, warning that protest should continue until the day the decision is withdrawn.
Barud Thapa, the youth president of GJMM later told reporters that two people can't go to submit a memorandum. "We had gone there to submit a memorandum and not an application but we were not allowed to go inside the office. We will protest about this in a larger way tomorrow, we will keep protesting unless the DM allows 10 of our representatives inside" said Mr Thapa.
Mr Thapa also countered Shanta Chhetri's take on Bengali being merely an optional subject. If Shanta Chettri is a Gorkha's daughter, why can't she urge the Chief Minister to include Nepali as an optional language in schools all across Bengal,' Mr Thapa asked.
GJMM activists will hit the street in Kalimpong tomorrow to protest against the DM's role on this issue.

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