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Darjeeling shutdown continues, Rajnath Singh appeals GJM to resolve issues through dialogues

19 Juin 2017

On June 17 morning, two protest marches were headed to the GJM's Patlebas party office. Unrest in the Darjeeling hills started last week when the West Bengal government decided to make Bengali a compulsory language in all schools in Bengal. As per the report, the commandant belonged to the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), and he had his throat slit when he attempted to prevent protesters from setting police vehicles on fire in front of the police outpost in Singmari. "The struggle will be intensified in the hills", Mr. Gurung said in a statement.

"We think the police and security personnel should be immediately removed from Darjeeling to create conducive environment for talks. I request them (insurgent groups) not to extend any support to the GJM", Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata. They (GJM) have connections with underground insurgent groups of the north east.

Meanwhile, Bikram Rai, the GTA media cell employee and son of Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai, who was arrested from his residence last night, was released on Saturday.

The incident, in which several people were injured, prompted the administration to deploy Army contingents in the area. The main conflagration points were Singmari, Ghoom, Lebong and Chowkbazar, each of these places seeing up to 2,000 GJM supporters hitting the streets, setting vehicles on fire and targeting security forces and government establishments and vehicles. Police fired teargas shells and used batons to dispersethe crowd.

The GJM carried out a silent rally with the coffins of four protesters, who were killed during clashes with the police. "Not a single bullet was sacked, It was the GJM which was firing at us", he said. "Gunshots came from the other side", Sharma said.

"We asked them to go back but they started throwing stones, bottles and petrol bombs. If people stop visiting the hills, how will you run your families?" she said adding that the state government will continue with its development work in the hills.

The GJM intensified the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland by announcing an indefinite strike in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars from June 12 after the state government decided to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools. Gurung died on his way to Siliguri while the two other died on the spot.

Gorkhas across the country began uploading blank black photos as their profile picture on Facebook as a mark of protest soon after.

BJP state women's wing president Roopa Ganguly also raised her pitch against the Trinamool government saying the unrest in the hills was due to Banerjee.

The ongoing agitation has crippled tourism. The iconic toy train service has also been suspended, officials said.

Holding aloft the tricolour, GJM youth members led the rally from Chawk Bazar, the famous lower market area on the Hill cart Road in Darjeeling, passionately shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans.

Darjeeling shutdown continues, Rajnath Singh appeals GJM to resolve issues through dialogues