Ethnic Gorkha students demand autonomy

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Kolkata, Sep 2 : Student activists of ethnic Gorkha community held a march here to demand a separate state of "Gorkhaland" be carved out of West Bengal.

Around 500 youths of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) joined the rally.

GJM's students' wing, Gorkha Janamukti Vidyarthi Morcha (GJVM) said the march was part of their agitation in the struggle for a separate homeland.

"We have come here for our very old demand of Gorkhaland," said Kismat Chettri, president of GJVM.

Students from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Dooars parts of the state sporting T-shirts with "We Want Gorkhaland" inscribed on them, participated in the rally.

"We are here, taking too much trouble because we all are deprived, that's why we are here. We just want our right and justice," said Neelima Chettri, a student of St. Joseph's School, Darjeeling.

The GJM, comprising about half a dozen parties, has been organising protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling Hills, over a demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

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

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million out of 80 million people, although the overwhelming majority is concentrated in Darjeeling.

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