Darjelling unrest: GJM protest to continue; Rajnath appeals for calm

The procession marked the protest of death of three Morcha supporters by alleged police firing yesterday at Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling. "I don't differentiate between the hill people and others".

Sikkim government sources in Gangtok said they had yesterday requested their West Bengal counterpart to provide security to vehicles passing through Darjeeling district in NH 31A in view of the GJM agitation. "Instead of playing with fire, peace should be safeguarded", Banerjee said. They shouted slogans in support of Gorkhaland and demanded that the police and security personnel be "removed immediately" from Darjeeling. The party has claimed that three of its activists were killed on Saturday.

"Since the violence is not coming to an end in Darjeeling, the Gorkhas are having an alliance with the BJP". Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai criticised the TMC government in the state, saying the situation could have been prevented from "going out of control". Asserting that the GJM did not want to be "pawns" in Centre-state politics and that his party would not talk to Mamata Banerjee, Rai reminded the Central government that the GJM was an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and that it had contributed two MPs to the National Democratic Alliance. The home minister's appeal came amid GJM chief Bimal Gurung's announcement that their protest will continue.

"I would like to appeal to everyone in the mountains to kindly maintain peace".

In a democracy like India, resorting to violence would never lead to a solution, he said, emphasising that "every issue can be resolved through dialogue".

"A total of 36 police personnel were injured in the clashes on June 17, and many of them by the stones thrown by GJM agitators", said Siddhinath Gupta, additional director general of police.

During his conversation with the chief minister, Singh discussed the situation prevailing in the hills.

Rajnath Singh said he spoke to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Sunday morning and took stock of the situation prevailing in Darjeeling+.

  • Leroy Wright