Raising of ”Gorkhaland peacekeepers” force

July 9th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Siliguri, July 9 (ANI): The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which has been demanding a separate State for Gorkhas, has embarked on recruitment of ”Gorkhaland Peacekeepers” (GLP) for keeping an eye on law and order situation during rallies.

The GJM has started the drive for the recruitment of Gorkha people to raise the GLP.

The secretary of the Ex-Armymen Association, Suren Pradhan said here that the process is intended to raise trained personnel for various purposes.

“We are recruiting personnel for custody of our people while organizing rally or any procession or public work. They will conduct themselves in a disciplined way and we will give them proper training to control the crowd. They will be our volunteers,” said Pradhan.

The leaders of the GJM say that the GLP personnel would not be given training to handle arms.

The GJM eyes to recruit about 2, 000 strong force which will be a kind of multitask force meant to deal with natural disasters as well as a host of responsibilities ranging from managing traffic control during rallies and helping tourists coming from outside to keep an eye on social ills like extortion.

The youth has so far responded well as they have thronged the recruitment centers in good numbers.

Apart from the compulsions of unemployment, the Gorkha youth echoed inclination to serve for the basic cause of the GJM that to fight for the separate Gorkha State.

“We are here to offer our services as GLP (Gorkha Land Peacekeepers). We are committed to fight for the Gorkhaland. We will carry out the orders of the leaders (of the Gorkha Jan Muktimorcha, GJM). Moreover, we will be helping the tourists coming from outside by guiding them,” said Jivan Thapa, candidate aspiring to join GLP.

The GLP will also have its Women wing that will have 700 cadres and the ”peacekeepers” would be deployed in the five divisions of Gorkhaland proposed by the GJM.

The GJM has been organizing protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling Hills over the statehood demand.

The West Bengal Government, however, has been resisting the demand.

The strike in the Darjeeling Hills has badly hit tourism and the tea industry, two mainstays of the local economy.

A tea industry official has warned exports of premium Darjeeling tea could fall 20-25 per cent this year due to unrest in the area.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million. (ANI)

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