Dilip’s ‘parallel’ jab angers Gorkhas
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has expressed anger at Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh drawing a parallel between the deaths of Gorkhas during the 2017 statehood agitation and those killed during the protests against the amended citizenship law in some states.
Morcha leader Binay Tamang said in a written statement on Wednesday that the party condemned Ghosh’s comments “in which he has called the 11 martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the 2017 agitation, anti-social elements who were rightly shot by the police for vandalising government property”.
Tamang also said Ghosh had indicated “that Gorkhas are foreigners, and has likened the Gorkhas to dogs”.
Threatening to take to the streets if Ghosh does not withdraw his comments, Tamang took pot shots at the BJP’s “intentions regarding the Gorkhas”.
“The 11 Gorkhas were martyred at a time when the Bimal Gurung-led GJM had teamed up with the BJP and the agitation was started by Gurung with the faith that the BJP would work towards the creation of Gorkhaland,” Tamang said.
“It was because of this faith in the BJP that the Gorkhas had given their lives in the agitation against the Bengal government,” added Tamang, who also highlighted the plight of around 1 lakh Gorkhas whose names did not figure in the Assam NRC list.
Ghosh had boasted that “shaitans were shot like dogs by our governments” in Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka during protests against the citizenship law. Several protesters were killed in the three states mentioned by Ghosh, and all are ruled by the BJP.
While taking part in a TV programme on Tuesday during which he was asked about his earlier incendiary comments in Nadia about CAA protesters, Ghosh had brought up the killings of 11 Gorkhas during the 2017 statehood agitation.
Replying to a question on how he would justify his “dog comment”, Ghosh had replied: “The statement that you are referring to is not mine, but yours. I did not talk about protesters, I said those who are vandalising public properties should be shot. I said this because the government here (in Bengal) had killed 11 Gorkhas in the (Darjeeling) hills.… It happened in Haryana, Rajasthan also, it is also happening now in other states since public properties were being destroyed and the police fired under compulsion.”
Tying himself in knots, the BJP leader went on to say that “it has happened in our state, Mamata Banerjee herself killed 11 Gorkhas as they were involved in vandalism”.
On Wednesday, Ghosh appeared to be smoothening ruffled feathers by attacking Trinamul, Congress and the CPM together.
“Mamata Banerjee had gone to the hills. There she had tried to intimidate the Gorkhas. Eleven of them fell to police bullets. Where was then this ahimsa neeti?” Ghosh asked in Calcutta, adding that the communists “had killed so many… they are giving me gyan now”.
“Whatever I have said, I said after thinking well. Even in this Bengal, Siddhartha Shankar Ray murdered many people during the Naxal era,” Ghosh said.