May 27, 2018, 11:20 pm IST
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Rumblings in the hills

Rumblings in the hills

S. Sivadas , Jun 19, 2017

The violence in Darjeeling district of West Bengal continued for the seventh day on Sunday with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha volunteers clashing with the police resulting in the death one person and injuries to 35 security personnel. The agitation against the imposition of Bengali upon this predominantly Gorkha-speaking hill district has so far resulted in the death of three protesters, according to the GJM leaders.

The West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee has blamed the insurgent elements in neighboring Northeast states for fomenting the trouble, with supplying them with weapons and ammunition, while the GJM president, Mr. Bimal Gurung, has accused the Chief Minister of dictatorial behavior. He cautioned that they would give a fitting reply of the state government.

Watching the developments from the Capital, the Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, has asked Ms. Banerjee to take all steps to bring peace to the region at the earliest.

This picturesque hill station, thronging with tourists, has to bear the brunt of the agitation. The prestigious ‘heritage train’ has ground to a halt and stranded tourists are scrambling to get away from the place in whatever mode of transport they can get.

An interesting development here is the emergence of women in the protests. In the GJM headquarters of Singamari a group of 2000 women carrying the national flag and shouting pro-Gorkha slogans trooped in followed by another group and they far outnumbered the security forces. The march was finally broken up by the police resorting to lathi charge and firing of tear gas shells. They regrouped and attacked the police with stones. At the end of the day the place was strewn with stones and resembled a war zone. The stone attacks is new development they have adopted from the Kashmir agitators.

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