Darjeeling unrest: GJM protests carrying dead bodies of party supporters

Joy Montgomery
June 19, 2017

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Mamata over the law and order situation in Darjeeling where the GJM has been leading a violent protest for seven days now.

As the GJM shutdown entered its sixth day, Banerjee strongly condemned the vandalism by the GJM and alleged a "deep-rooted conspiracy". "So many bombs and arms can not be gathered in a day", Ms Banerjee 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.

"We are not ready for talks with West Bengal government".

GJM activists threw petrol bombs, bottles and stones at the anti-riot police personnel, who fired teargas shells to disperse the mob in Singmari.

On Sunday protestors marched with the coffins of two men they said died in clashes with India's security forces, waving flags and calling for peace.

Mamata today referred to the possible involvement of insurgent groups from the Northeast and some foreign countries behind the trouble in Darjeeling. "I have requested that they should not extend any support in Darjeeling".

The officials claimed that almost 36 of the security personnel were injured while trying to contain the violence, and denied that they opened fire at the protesters.

BA passengers facing third day of chaos
Smit advised BA passengers to "arrive earlier than usual for their BA flight until the situation is completely resolved". Additional airport staff have been providing information and giving out free water and snacks, Heathrow said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is believed to have had a phone conversation with Mamta Banerjee to discuss the situation.

"We think the police and security personnel should be immediately removed from Darjeeling to create conducive environment for talks. GTA has failed and we do not accept GTA anymore", Roshan Giri, general secretary of the GJM, told The Sunday Guardian. The first incidents of violence were reported from the hills soon after Mamata Banerjee and her Cabinet were about to leave the Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling after their Cabinet meeting there.

However, GLP took a back seat and most of its trained youths were absorbed into GJM youth wing instead following the formation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in 2011.

On the fourth day of the indefinite strike called by the GJM in Darjeeling hills, Singhamari, which has been the epicentre of the protests, wore a look of desolation and devastation.

He said violence can not help in reaching any solution.

"After the Bengal government tried to crush a peaceful protest by sending its police force to the hills, I see less chances of any compromise with the Bengal government", Sharma said.

"We will explain to people how their lives have changed for better following the formation of these development boards, which took up lots of welfare activities", he said. She said tourism is the backbone of the Hills' economy and if the tourists' footfalls decrease, the Hills would starve.

Darjeeling has been in the grip of a fresh agitation after the state government announced almost a month ago that Bengali will be made a compulsory subject in schools.

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