Cooch Behar killings turning point, BJP to be routed from north Bengal, says Gorkha leader

Bimal Gurung

Asserting that Saturdays firing by the CISF in Cooch Behar, which claimed four lives, would prove to be a “turning point” in West Bengal assembly elections, Bimal Gurung, the chief of one of the two Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) factions, claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would face the wrath of voters in the remaining four phases of polling in the northern part of Bengal.

“Killing of innocent people — be it by the state police or the central forces — is not acceptable. What happened in Cooch Behar on the polling day is nothing short of a genocide; the BJP would feel the heat in North Bengal. The party would be wiped out from the region,” PTI quoted Gorkha leader as saying.

Gurung, in an interview with PTI, reaffirmed that “statehood is a dream nurtured by every Gorkha”, while also noting that the Trinamool Congress’s pitch for a “permanent political solution” and the overall development of Darjeeling and its adjoining areas sounds “very encouraging”.

Lashing out at the saffron party for “deceiving the Gorkha jaati for 12 years with fake promises”, Gurung, who deserted the NDA and joined hands with the TMC in October last year, said he will teach the BJP camp a “lesson for life”, with Mamata Banerjee by his side.

Bimal Gurung is one of the founders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, a party demanding the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

“During the 2017 Gorkhaland agitation, many people were killed…The TMC subsequently faced the music in the 2019 general election when it lost all eight Lok Sabha seats in north Bengal. This time, the BJP is set to meet the same fate,” he told the news agency.

Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee described the firing incident in Cooch Behar as “genocide” and lashed out at the Election Commission for allegedly suppressing facts.
The TMC supremo also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah over the incident, calling them “incompetent”.

Four people died on Saturday when CISF personnel opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who “attempted to snatch their rifles”, the police had said.

Addressing reporters, Mamata said, “It is genocide. We have decided to observe today as a black day. The forces fired on them directly. The CISF is trained to provide security to industries and not to control a mob. I could not sleep last night but the Prime Minister was eating sweets. Such an incompetent government, incompetent Prime Minister, incompetent home minister.”