Special Correspondent

Flag marches to continue, bandh called off

Educational institutions to remain closed till Monday

KOLKATA: The Army and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets of Siliguri on Saturday, a day after clashes erupted between fans of Prashant Tamang, recently selected Indian Idol 3, and local residents. The situation is under control but remains tense.

Friday’s violence occurred after Mr. Tamang’s fans took out a procession in protest against an alleged derogatory remark made by a radio jockey of a Delhi-based private FM channel against the singer. Later in the afternoon Mr. Tamang, through a local television channel, made an appeal to his supporters to maintain the peace.

The West Bengal Government has informed the Union Home Ministry of the developments and demanded action against the radio jockey, who subsequently apologised for his comment that had enraged Mr. Tamang’s fans in both Siliguri and the Darjeeling hills.

Curfew, which was imposed in Siliguri on Friday evening following the promulgation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, was lifted in most parts of the town. Flag marches by the Army and paramilitary forces will continue till Sunday and all educational institutions in Siliguri will remain closed till October 1, a district official said.

Meanwhile, a 12-hour bandh called by the Prashant Tamang Fans Club in the Darjeeling hills for the day, was called off in the morning.

A procession organised by the civic body, with participation by leaders of ethnic communities, was taken out in Siliguri, appealing to the residents to remain calm. Among those who participated were Ashok Bhattacharya, Urban Development Minister.

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