Special Correspondent

Seeks removal of some police officials by Monday

Threatened to call bandh if the demand was not met

KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) served on Friday an ultimatum to the West Bengal government seeking removal of some police officials from their posts by Monday afternoon.

It threatened to launch an indefinite bandh in the district if the demand was not met.

The GJM leadership was protesting against police action on its supporters earlier in the day at Panighata in the Kurseong sub-division.

“We have called for an indefinite bandh if our demands are not met by Monday in protest against police action on our supporters who had assembled at Panighata to hold a peaceful rally in protest against the atrocities committed on our workers by the local Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader, Rajen Mukhia,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said.

Trouble broke out at Panighata when GJM supporters, who had gathered to hold a rally, allegedly attacked the house of the Mr. Rajen Mukhia.

District Superintendent of Police Rahul Srivastava said that some in the mob were armed with petrol bombs. Five policemen were injured when they intervened, he told The Hindu over phone.

In July last, GJM activists had attacked the house of a senior GNLF leader in Darjeeling, he recalled.

Dispute

According to the police, tension has been simmering in the area for the last two days due to a dispute within the GJM over a local issue. There were reports of supporters of a faction switching loyalty to Mr. Mukhia.

The GJM, which has been demanding the creation of a separate Gorkhaland to be carved out of Darjeeling district and certain areas contiguous to it, has replaced the GNLF as the principal political force in the hills since October 2007.

Yet, on odd occasions, its supremacy has been challenged at local levels.

The incident at Panighata is, apparently, one such instance.