Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Darjeeling on edge, GJM takes out rally with body of activist

Stranded tourists wait for communication during the indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Tourists in the hill station have been left stranded with transport hotels and food services affected S Darjeeling tense as GJM raid brings violence and more central forces Jun 16 2017 16:09 IST
Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:42

Also, she claimed an Indian Reserve Battalion Assistant Commandant Kiran Tamang had succumbed to his injuries but soon retraced her statements saying "he is grievously hurt and is fighting for his life". Banerjee later said the decision would not be implemented in the Darjeeling hills but, by then, the protests, led by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha under the leadership of Gorkha Territorial Administration's chief executive Bimal Gurung, had transformed into a movement for a separate state of Gorkhaland. "He is not dead".

Rajnath on Sunday took to Twitter and informed Mamata Banerjee had apprised her of the situation prevailing in Darjeeling. He had, however, said that one person had died on Saturday, but did not specify the cause of his death. While police claimed that GJM supporters started pelting stones forcing them to retaliate, protesters said that the police stopped their rally and started firing tear gas shells first.

While condemning the police raid at the (GJM) office in Darjeeling in the morning, he said, "The police raided a political office (GJM) without informing the concerned leaders. We can not tolerate this hooliganism", said Additional Director General (Law & Order) Anuj Sharma.

As the GJM shutdown entered its sixth day, Banerjee strongly condemned the vandalism by the GJM and alleged a "deep-rooted conspiracy".

The Centre on Sunday appealed for calm in Darjeeling but put the onus on the Mamata Banerjee government for possible talks tripartite with Gorkha protesters demanding a separate state.

“The outburst of tension in Darjeeling area is nothing but an unwarranted outcome of the autocratic rule of the Bengal Government as well as the Government of Indias utter negligence towards the problem”, said ABSU president Promod Boro in a press meet held at the Bodofa House here.

Almost 50 people, mostly police, have been injured in riots and arson attacks that have gripped the usually bustling area for more than a week and caused thousands of mostly Indian tourists to pack their bags and flee.

Kavitha said even during the agitation for creation of Telangana, which was formed three years ago after bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, there were movements pushing for Vidarbha and Gorkhaland states, and the TRS always held the view that every demand had to be treated and looked at separately.

The Army has also been called in. We will not stop until and unless Gorkhaland is achieved.

Soon after police raid huge rallies converged at Patleniwas, Singhmari and Ghoom. GJM supporters are creating violence and attacking police.

On BJP's stand regarding formation of smaller states, Shah said, "It is true that we are in favour of small states".

She also claimed, "I have reports that some foreign countries and terrorist groups of the North-East are backing these goonda elements in Darjeeling".

GJM activists also blocked roads and staged demonstrations at many places in the Dooars - foothills covering parts of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts - in support as the agitation in the hills spilled onto the plains.