Gorkhaland stir: Darjeeling flares up again after three protesters killed; Army redeployed

Published on Jul 09 2017 - - India - -

Exactly a month after the Gorkha Janmukti Morha (GJM) renewed its agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state in Darjeeling, the hills of north Bengal have once again flared up with at least 3 protesters being killed in clashes with the security forces.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is monitoring the situation from Kolkata, has appealed for peace and called on the Morcha to join peace talks. “I am willing to talk but first let them leave the path of violence. I am always open for talks”, Banerjee said, softening her stand.
However, the Morcha, which is leading the agitation rejected Banerjee’s proposal, reiterating its position that there was no question of any dialogue with the state government anymore

“We will not go for any talks with Mamata Banerjee. The channel of talks with her and the West Bengal government has been closed forever. If Centre calls for talks for Gorkhaland, we will go for it”, GJM leader Binay Tamang clarified.
Violent scenes were witnessed in Darjeeling throughout Saturday after the death of a Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) worker in Sonada on Friday night. Angry protesters came out on the streets in large numbers with the deceased’s body and vandalised government property across the hills to demonstrate against the police action.
Protesters first set a police outpost on fire and then torched the Sonada police station. Later, the toy train station at Sonada, a UNESCO world heritage site, was also set ablaze.
Soon, the violence spread to other areas with the Darjeeling station also being vandalised and the Deputy Police Superintendent town office being attacked. In Kalimpong district, the Neora Forest Office was set on fire.
At Singamari, where the GJM part office is located, police came under heavy stone pelting. Police used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, while Morcha claims bullets were fired too.
With the situation seemingly out of control, the state government once again requisitioned the Centre to deploy the Army. Accordingly, two columns of army was re-deployed in Darjeeling, two weeks after they were withdrawn.

Leave a comment

Translate News in your own Language »

Subscribe to our RSS Feed! Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Visit our LinkedIn Profile!