Bengal government alleges foreign links; Gorkha leaders demand proof

In retaliation to Mamata Banerjee’s claim that there was “foreign intervention” in the Gorkha Movement, the pro-Gorkha land leaders have demanded that the West Bengal government submit proof of its claims that forces “from across the border” were being brought to the state to instigate and spread violence.

“There is no China or Maoists in the Democratic Gorkhaland agitation. These are false allegations to defame our struggle. If West Bengal has proof against us, they should present it,” said Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri. Mahendra Chhetri, another pro leader of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, said linking such a people’s movement with China and Maoists would cause “people’s rage to explode”.

According to sources, Mamata Banerjee had previously had 5 telephonic conversations with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh regarding the China threat. In her letter to Singh, sent last week, Mamata also “clarified” that the state government had never refused additional forces from the Centre to handle the Gorkhaland protests.

The Trinamool Congress has in the past too raised concerns over China’s “growing interference” in Bengal. Last week, in an indirect reference to China, party general secretary, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee had said, “There has been supporting from foreign lands to the unrest in the hills, and we have definite proof of that.”

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