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GJM Chief Bimal Gurung appeals Ex-servicemen to vote for BJP

EOI
Darjeeling : With the run-up to the elections drawing closer everyday, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung appealed the ex-servicemen to vote for BJP while evoking the sentiments of the ex-army men by reminding them of the police lathicharge on April 9, 2008. Gurung in his social webpage post has appealed all ex-servicemen to vote for BJP, while terming April 9 as the "Blackest Day" for all Gorkhaland supporters. "I would like to appeal all ex-servicemen to vote for the BJP so that we are able to convince the coming BJP Government for a high level enquiry in this matter," the post read. Notably, on April 9, 2008 police lathicharged former army men who were participating in a peaceful rally at Darjeeling More in Siliguri under the banner of Bharatiya Gorkha Bhutpurwa Sainik Morcha (BGBSM) for the separate statehood demand. Several participants including women and senior ex-servicemen were injured in the incident. 

Many believe the fresh Gorkhaland agitation started due to this particular incident. Despite the formation of a one-man commission headed by M .L. Meena, the principal secretary of environment and forest to investigate the matter, the government has yet to take any action on the incident, Gurung further said. Today, the BGBSM organized a rally from Darjeeling More, where the lathicharge had taken place, to Milan More to commemorate the incident. "Hundreds of participants attended a meeting that was organized after the rally at Milan More. We are still angered by the incident as we have not got justice after all these years. We will certainly vote for the BJP, who we feel will give us justice when they come to power," said Colonel (retired) Ramesh Allay, the BGBSM president and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) deputy chief executive. According to Allay there are more than twenty-seven thousand ex-servicemen voters in the three Hills sub-divisions, excluding family members.

 "Despite all our effort the state government has not taken any action and the one-man commission never submitted his report. We even filed an RTI but to no avail. But things are looking up with every chances of the BJP coming to power this time in Delhi," the BGBSM president said. Allay said a memorandum will also be handed to Narendra Modi tomorrow with the demand. "We are grateful to the BJP for including our demand for separate state in their election manifesto. Tomorrow, the BJP prime ministerial candidate will address a public meeting at Khaprail near Siliguri and on the occasion we will submit a memorandum to him for our demand on a proper inquest into the April, 2008 lathicharge," added the GTA deputy chief executive.

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