Darjeeling: Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) chief Bimal Gurung on Thursday threatened a ‘violent’ agitation for creation of a separate Gorkhaland state after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ruled out dividing West Bengal.
Scores of GJM supporters raised slogans and disrupted a function addressed by Banerjee in the hill station of Darjeeling on Wednesday.
Banerjee in-between her speech asserted that Darjeeling Hills would remain part of West Bengal.
Gurung told the reporters in Darjeeling that the GJM was fully prepared to face any consequences, if the situation worsened and there was a possibility of violence.
"From tomorrow they (state government) might just start to detain us. It may lead to riots and violence. They might even shoot us. We are ready for all of that. We are ready to die. But we will not sell our conscience. Our aim is to get autonomous Gorkhaland and we will get it,” said Gurung.
The GJM has been spearheading the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of the hilly regions of West Bengal since over a decade.
It has contended creation of Gorkhaland would protect their indigenous culture and heritage.
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is a semi-autonomous body for Darjeeling Hills that was formed in 2012 after a tripartite agreement involving the centre and West Bengal and the GJM.
At least 1,200 people died in the first Gorkhaland campaign in the 1980s, but protests ended after Gorkha leaders accepted limited autonomy.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million and a majority of the population is concentrated in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling hills region is geo-politically and strategically important for India as it lies close to the borders of China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.