Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung, who has been implicated in numerous cases including charges under the dreaded UAPA, made a surprise appearance and addressed a short press brief today.
He has released a press note, and we have produced the same below…
I want to foremost, take the opportunity to convey New Year wishes for 2018 to all my fellow countrymen; and sincerely thank my Gorkhas brothers and sisters from Darjeeling, Dooars, Tarai and from across the country, who stood by me through the hard and difficult situations last year. I want to reiterate that I am a peaceful citizen of this great country, with the utmost respect for our constitutional institutions. When matters of truth and justice are concerned, I have always believed in Gandhiji’s principles and derived inspiration from them.
Our struggle for separate statehood is for the identity of the Gorkhas. We have no animosity against our brothers and sisters from Bengal, but we cannot deny that we are culturally, traditionally and linguistically different from them.
I, on behalf of my people, want to highlight that the Bengal Government, althrough our struggle for Gorkhaland till date, has presented our struggle, including the recent incidents last year beginning June as a violent, separatists movement. The ground reality is very different. Our demand for Gorkhaland is constitutionally valid and falls within the Indian boundaries and territories. Till date, immeasurable ‘Gorkha’s blood’ has been shed and sacrificed to protect India’s dignity and its boundaries. We have been a part of this great country and shall always remain with India.
My people who were a part of peaceful demonstration and resistance against Bengal’s apathy and dominance were subject to brutal violence that took the lives of 11 Gorkhas recently. I again express my deepest condolence towards the families of the deceased. They were not just party cadres, but they were our brothers and sisters. I will continue our struggle for our identity and for our aspiration of dignified lives. I appeal all my people to maintain peace and keep their hope despite the State Government’s tyranny and oppression. I know our struggle is taking a lot of time, but I request you all to have patience and faith. Like every political movement, we will have to give our struggle time and complete dedication.
I believe in the course of law and am ready to co-operate to any investigation undertaken that is willing to work with sincerity, abiding by the rule of law. I have requested the National Judiciary to set up an independent agency to investigate the false cases filed against our demonstrators. I have immense faith in the Court of Law and believe that the truth will stand victorious.
Please believe that God is with us and that our people will get justice. On this occasion, I request my people to maintain peace and continue with their daily lives, while keeping away from any illegal activity.
I wish you all again a very happy new year. May this year bring peace, prosperity and a bright future for us all.
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.