Darjeeling unrest: One civilian killed, 35 securitymen injured in clashes

Darjeeling unrest: One civilian killed, 35 securitymen injured in clashes

The GJM today ruled out any discussion with West Bengal government but said it is “comfortable” in holding talks with the BJP-led government at the Centre.

The BJP is an ally of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and party MP SS Ahluwalia had won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling with its help. “We are not ready for talks with West Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee has insulted us, she has called us terrorists,” GJM leader Binay Tamang said. “We are fighting for our right and freedom. We will talk only with the central government. We are not interested in talks with Mamata Banerjee and her TMC government,” he said.

Tamang’s comment comes in the backdrop Banerjee’s claim of “deep-rooted conspiracy” in Darjeeling Hills supported by insurgent groups of the NE for helping the GJM in its demand for a separate Gorkhaland. Banerjee said she is ready for talks but not under the current situation. GJM supremo Bimal Gurung has accused the state police of letting lose atrocities on the people of the hills and said the time has come for an all out fight for Gorkhaland.

In the boil for the past 10 days over a separate state demand, Darjeeling today witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police in which one person was killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an IRB officer seriously. This was the first death since violent protests returned to Darjeeling on June 8, after a gap of a few years.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) workers hurled petrol bombs, stones and bottles at the police at several places which led the security forces to lob teargas shells and resort to baton-charge to disperse the mobs, a police official said. Army contingents were deployed to control the situation and they staged flag marches in several areas of the violence-hit hill district, including Darjeeling and Kurseong, where the indefinite shutdown to press for a separate Gorkhaland entered the third day.

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