Mamata Banerjee trying to divert our movement: GJM chief

Judith Bessette
Junho 19, 2017

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said we have a link with north-east based terrorists group, which is totally wrong".

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.

"All concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment", Rajnath said.

At least 12 people have been injured in riots and arson attacks which took place in eastern India's hill resort of Darjeeling on Saturday. Carrying bodies of the two supporters in a hearse with GJM flags and posters terming them as "martyrs of Gorkhaland", thousands of locals, including GJM activists, shouted slogans like "police, go back".

But supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) - a separatist movement that has long called for a separate state for ethnic Gorkhas in West Bengal - dispute this, saying three of their comrades were shot dead by police in the clashes. "Nobody should resort to violence", he added.

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However, the state administration rejected GJM's claim, and stated that the police never opened fire on any of their supporters. Thirty-five security personnel, including an India Reserve Battalion officer, were injured during widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police on Saturday.

Asked if the TRS is in favour of small states, Kavitha said this has been the party's stand since the beginning of the Telangana movement. Protestors said that a similar protest might be organised next week, if the West Bengal government does not take conclusive steps to stop the unrest unfolding in Darjeeling. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the unrest as a "deep-rooted conspiracy". "At one point of time the mobs were seen chasing the cops and even rolling boulders from the hill tops causing many injuries", though the GJM leadership denied any such attacks. People of the hills have come together to demand separate Gorkhaland. "But we have to prepare ourselves", he said. We will not stop until Gorkhaland is created. "Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue", he tweeted. Instead, it accused the GJM supporters of opening fire but stayed mum on the casualty count.

The police had also picked up a GJM legislator's son, who heads the party's media cell, late on Friday and raided the home of another leader following an attempt, according to the Telegraph newspaper, by some people to torch a PWD office in Bijanbari area.

The GJM announced an indefinite general strike from Monday in the hills encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas covering stretches of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district) protesting against the government's purported decision to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools and to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

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