Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Darjeeling: Police raid GJM chief's office, Centre rushes more forces

The indefinite strike has entered into the fourth day on Thursday.

The police, however, denied that Gurung's residence was raided.

Police claim they were fired upon by GJM supporters.

The hills have been restive since then and incidents of violence and arson have been reported from Darjeeling town and some other places in the hills.

The health care centre that was set on fire by suspected GJM supporters in Lodhama on Thursday night.

Going on a rampage, GJM supporters had attacked police, torched vehicles and damaged public and private property.

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A huge cache of explosive devices, bows and arrows, sharp weapons, firecrackers along with mobile phones were recovered. The police arrested GJM leader Karuna Gurunj from Kurseong for her involvement in the recent violence in Darjeeling.

The GJM wants a new state named Gorkhaland in the hill region, now part of the eastern West Bengal state. The CM has responded to the breach in the system with yet another shuffle in Darjeeling police administration.District intelligence bureau deputy SP Pradip Kumar Singha was shunted out of Darjeeling and was asked to take charge as deputy SP, Enforcement Branch, Nadia. Now there are a total of 1,400 security personnel to administer the condition and assist the local administrators in restoring the peace and normalcy.

Ahluwalia said the Mamata Banerjee government must issue an official order declaring Bengali will not be made mandatory in Darjeeling, to assuage the feelings of the people of the hills.

Army deployed in Darjeeling.

The Gayabari station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - declared as a heritage site by the UNSECO, a state transport bus and several vehicles including one belonging to a media house were set on fire by the protestors, hours before the GJM called an indefinite general strike in the hills encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas covering stretches of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district). However, the GJM leadership is believed to have told the government that they would participate in the talks only if their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland was addressed.

The CPI, meanwhile, blamed Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the "violent" agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state, saying her "unnecessary promise" earlier was the cause for the of protests. "We are deeply hurt that the Bengal government is portraying our traditional equipment as weapons".

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