On Thursday, in Darjeeling, agitated Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists burned at least four police vehicles and threw stones at policemen who heaved tear-gas shells to disperse them. Notably, there will be 12-hour bandh observed in the district tomorrow.
Soon as CM Mamata Banerjee came out of the Raj Bhawan, where she had a meeting with 30 of her top ministers, clashes erupted between the GJM supporters and the police. To control the situation, the police resorted to lathi-charge and tear-gas. Protesters also allegedly threw bombs at the policemen who open fired in retaliation. he agitators held a dharna, raised slogans against the chief minister, tried to damage barricades and hurled brickbats.
As a repercussion to the violence, shops remained closed, traffic came to a halt. The state government has reportedly asked for army intervention in Darjeeling to control the situation.
The violence erupted near Bhanu Bhavan where the GJM supporters were holding a rally to demand a separate state of Gorkhaland and a written assurance from the Mamata Banerjee government that it won’t ‘impose’ Bengali in the north Bengal hills and that “Bengali could be learnt as a fourth language”.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung accused the TMC of trying to ‘dilute’ real issues affecting the hills and threatened to revive Gorkhaland movement.
“In the next few days the Gorkhaland movement will start. The people of the hills are still with the GJM. We are unitedly fighting for Gorkhaland,” he said.