Violence Escalates In Darjeeling, Army Deployed

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| July 9 , 2017 , 12:06 IST

Three people lost their lives and a policeman sustained severe injuries as the Darjeeling stir witnessed a sudden escalation of violence in the recent days.

The Darjeeling district officials said, “Three persons have died, one on Friday night, two on Saturday.”

As the situation continued to deteriorate through the day, the government decided to call in the army - the second time in exactly a month after Darjeeling turned restive.

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Defence Ministry spokesman told that security forces have been deployed in the violent hit area of the hill state, West Bengal. He said, “Two army columns have been deployed - one in Darjeeling, one in Sonada, where one railway station was set afire.” One army column comprises 43 personnel.

The situation turned worse when the pro-Gorkhaland activists started engaging in widespread arson and vandalism in the area targeting railway station, police outposts and government offices.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appeared on the media appealed the public for peace and said she was open to holding a dialogue with protestors in the next 10-15 days if they eschewed violence. She also accused the leadership in the central government of "non-cooperation" and claimed the crisis could have been averted through timely deployment of central forces.

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As the day wore on, the situation worsened, as agitators set afire the Neora Range Office quarter and two vehicles at Gorubathan in Kalimpong district, and a police check post near Thurbo Tea Factory, Mirik in Darjeeling district. Demonstrations and blockades were everywhere, even the DSP’s office and Town’s Food and Supply Department were vandalised by the protesters.

The situation in Darjeeling, already on the boils for the past month burst into a sudden violence over the recent death of a young GJM supporter Tashi Bhutia, who was found dead on Friday with bullet wounds.

The GJM Assistant General Secretary Binay Tamang claimed that Bhutia was its supporter said, “Yet another person has died in the hills," The GJM also alleged that police killed Bhutia.

The police initially denied the allegation and backing the police, state Tourism Minister Gautam Deb also said, “The allegation that Bhutia died in police firing is completely false.” However, a district official later said the police had to fire in self-defence after Bhutia attacked with a 'khukri'.

The incident triggered a fresh flare-up in the hill state as GJM and GNLF activists burst into violence and torched the Sonada railway station and a traffic police booth and attacked the Sonada police outpost.