India Maoist Attack: Nepali-speaking Gorkhas Die

Of the 24 policemen killed in a Maoist attack in Silda, West Bengal, on Monday evening (15th), most were Nepali Indians.

This is an irony. The Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling hills, the Gorkhas of India, who are fighting for the separation of the region from the West Bengal form the majority of those who died in the Maoist attack. They were fighting on behalf of the Bengali government against which their non-police folks are waging a political war. Maoists want to overthrow the Bengali and the Indian government to establish their own proletariat regime.

Here’s a report from Darjeeling: The mood swung between grief and anger as thousands of Gorkha men, women and children lined the streets of Darjeeling in the biting evening cold on Wednesday (yesterday), waiting for the bodies of 13 of the Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans slain in the Silda Naxal attack two days ago. For 24 hours, the state withheld names of those killed, putting thousands of families, whose kin are in EFR, through torment. On Wednesday, families knew who died but no one was telling them when the bodies would come back. Of the 24 EFR jawans killed, most were Nepali-speaking residents of Darjeeling, from where the Frontier Rifles are mostly drawn. At 9pm, the bodies were still an hour’s drive away from Siliguri, which meant it would be midnight by the time they reached Darjeeling. This delay scuppered Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s plan to keep the bodies for public viewing. GJM that has been spearheading the agitation demanding separate Gorkhaland state has called a bandh tomorrow in memory of the dead. But the Bangla Bhasa Bachao Samiti, a Bengali group, has vowed to oppose the bandh.

The Indian Express presents a story of a Nepali Indian who died in the attack:

By Madhuparna Das

Silda : Suraj Bahadur Thapa of the Eastern Frontier Rifles — one of the 24 West Bengal policemen killed by Maoists on Monday evening — had a premonition of death. So in the days, perhaps hours, before the attack on the camp, the lonely policeman started to write to the most important person in his world — his wife. Continue reading India Maoist Attack: Nepali-speaking Gorkhas Die

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