Arson and violence continued in Darjeeling on Sunday with with pro-Gorkhaland agitators setting aflame a police station, assaulting four police personnel and attacking a BDO office at Pokribong. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists also took out a rally at Chowkbazar with the bodies of Suraj Sundas and Sameer Subba, who were allegedly killed in police firing. At Sonada, a procession was taken out with the body of Tashi Bhutia, who too was allegedly killed in police firing. The protesters attacked the Sonada police station and torched a part of it — the second such attack on the police station in two days. A police booth was also set ablaze in Darjeeling by the protesters.
Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, SDO and BDO offices were partially damaged after they were set on fire by agitators in Kurseong and a police outpost in Sukhiyapokhri was ransacked and policemen beaten up. A tourist lodge in Gairigaon was torched allegedly by agitators along with a police outpost in Thorbu. The GJM said its workers were not involved in the incidents. Meanwhile, an all-party meeting that was scheduled to be held on July 18 has been brought forward to July 11. The meeting will chalk out the strategy to boost the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state.
GJM leaders have reiterated that they will not sit for talks with the West Bengal government. “There is no question of holding talks with the Mamata Banerjee government. The police have shot our supporters dead. Our resolve for Gorkhaland has only grown stronger. We will only talk with the Centre and only on Gorkhaland,” said Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the GJM.
The Trinamool Congress on Sunday claimed that it has “definite proof” that foreign powers were behind the ongoing unrest in the Darjeeling hills. “There has been support from foreign lands to the unrest in the Hills and we have definite proof of that,” Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said. “We will fight to keep West Bengal united and we will never let it be divided,” said the state Parliamentary Affairs and Education Minister.
With PTI inputs