Darjeeling unrest: The story till now

Rajnath appeals Darjeeling residents to remain calm, peaceful

Security personnel patrol a road during GJM strike in Darjeeling on Saturday, June 17, 2017.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The situation remained tense in Darjeeling on Sunday after there were widespread clashes between GJM supporters and security forces on Saturday in which the GJM claims three persons were allegedly killed.

Here are the latest updates.

"In a democracy like India, resorting to violence would never help in finding a solution. Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue," the Home Minister said.

Mr. Singh spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the situation in violence—hit Darjeeling. He had spoken to her on Saturday as well.

"All parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment," said Mr. Singh.

 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to residents of Darjeeling to remain calm and peaceful, says nobody should resort to violence, says a PTI report.

Rallies at Chowk Bazaar

The city's Chowk Bazaar is seeing back-to-back rallies. GJM supporters parade a body which they claim to be that of a party worker killed in Saturday's police firing.

A few hundred members of the Muslim community in Darjeeling too came together earlier in the morning to pledge their support for a separate Gorkhaland.

Local GJM MLA Amar Singh Rai held a press conference saying the claims of the State government that police did not fire was "laughable". "Three people have been killed. We have bullets to show that they were fired by security sources," he said adding that they were not happy with the role of the Central government in the imbroglio.

"We are being made pawns by the Centre and the State," he said. "We are disappointed that the BJP MP from Darjeeling (SS Ahluwalia) is not with the people of the hills. I have doubts in my mind that the centre is not really helping us," he said.

"What happened yesterday was unfortunate. This was something that could have been prevented had the honourable CM issued a notification saying that Bengali will not be implemented in the hills. The situation here is still very volatile," he added.

Mr. Rai also said that they were ready to talk with the Centre anytime.

On the possiblity of talks with the State govt, he said there cannot be talks until the central forces and army were withdrawn and there was some semblance of normalcy in the hills.

GJM calls for protest rally

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung on Sunday gave a call for a protest rally at Chowk Bazaar here. GJM will observe a black day today, he said.

Darjeeling remained in a state of complete shutdown on the fourth day of the indefinite strike called by the GJM.

Violence escalated on on June 17, 2017 with widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police. ADGP (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma blamed the GJM activists for “opening fire”.

 

Singamari, the headquarters of the GJM, turned into a battle zone with Morcha supporters who had strategic advantage of height and knowledge of the terrain, targeted security forces with stones and projectiles. The security forces resorted to massive tear gas shelling and baton charge but had to beat a retreat.

For almost two hours a large part of Lebong Cart Road came under the control of the protesters. A large contingent of security forces later regained control over the area and arrested some GJM supporters. Later the Army was deployed to bring the situation at Singmari under control.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 7:35:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/darjeeling-clashes-gjm-calls-for-protest-rally/article19098288.ece

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