Gorkhaland protests turn violent, GJM men pelt stones

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters  during their protest in Darjeeling on Thursday.

File photo of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters during their protest in Darjeeling on Thursday.

On day two of Darjeeling bandh called by on Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM), party supporters engaged in stone pelting in various parts of the town. Additional security was in place to stop GJM workers from enforcing a shutdown, especially in government offices.

Police pickets and barricades were put up in front of the government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices and various entry and exit points of the hills. Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed at the place.

“The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters pelted stones at police forces in various parts of Darjeeling as they were stopped by the forces from enforcing shutdown in government offices. After we chased them, they ran away,” a senior police official said.

At around 10 am, a huge GJM procession was seen marching to various government offices in Chowkbazar area to stop people from reporting for work. Party supporters chanted slogans demanding a separate Gorkhaland as they marched on.

The protesters turned violent and pelted stones, the police said.

Senior police officers like Jawed Shamim, Siddinath Gupta, who are members of the three-member committee set up by the government in Darjeeling, were seen with huge police contingents in various parts of the hills.

Meanwhile, GJM accused the police of resorting to unprovoked lathi charge.

“The police resorted to unprovoked lathi charge on a peaceful rally. The more they use force against us, the more intense will be the struggle for a separate Gorkhaland state,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told PTI.

On Monday, government offices recorded “normal” attendance although some stray incidents of violence were reported during the indefinite bandh called by GJM in Darjeeling.

(With inputs from PTI)