Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung on Saturday said the “real fight” in his group’s demand for separate statehood was about to begin, and all of the protests so far were “just a trailer”, The Telegraph reported. Gurung was speaking to a small group of reporters when he said, “Now, the fight will be decisive and the struggle will be bhayanak [terrible].”

Gurung said that there is certain to be more violence and that the “land is asking for blood”. “If I have to shed my own blood, I will die but Gorkhaland must be achieved,” he said. “I had earlier too said that the land will ask for blood, but many people viewed it in a negative way.”

On Sunday, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha protestors blocked National Highway 31 in Siliguri’s Salugara demanding a separate Gorkhaland state, reported ANI. Meanwhile, Nepali singer Kumar Subba returned his “Sangeet Samman” award in support of a separate Gorkhaland state.

The Centre had on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was sending four more companies of Central Reserve Police Force personnel to West Bengal to help maintain law and order in the Darjeeling hills, as the unrest in the state entered its 29th day. Eleven CRPF companies had already been sent earlier.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagoudar was hearing a plea filed by Lok Sabha MP PD Rai, Rajya Sabha member Hissey Lachungpa and Sikkim Chief Secretary AK Srivastav. In their petition, they wanted the top court to direct the central and West Bengal governments to ensure the safety of vehicles on NH10.

The unrest

Violence broke out in Darjeeling after Banerjee announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. Though she had said that hill districts will be exempted from the rule, the GJM began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.