The Army was called in Darjeeling after violence broke out earlier on Saturday, even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appelead for peace. Hours ago, a toy train station was torched by a group of people in Sonada after an incident of shooting where the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), an outfit demanding the creation of a new state called Gorkhaland in North Bengal, claimed that one of its supporters was shot dead by the police.
Spokesperson of the GNLF, Neeraj Zinpa, told the Indian Express that Tashi Bhutia (31) went out late on Friday night around 11 pm to buy medicine for his brother. However, when he did not return home after several hours, his family inquired and came to know that he lay in a pool of blood at a road junction in Sonada. The police, however, have not officially made a statement on the matter.
Darjeeling unrest highlights:
05.30 pm: Mamata Banerjee urged the political parties in the Darjeeling hills to return to the path of peace and sit with the government for talks. “The government is ready for talks with the hill parties, but peace has to be ushered in. The government has shown enough restraint in the interest of the people of the hills. Peace has to return to the hills,” she said. “If peace returns in the next 10-15 days, I can call the hill parties for talks. But, let us restore peace first,” she added.
05.00 pm: Gorkhaland supporters also torched a police outpost. Activists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) also clashed with the police at Sonada and Chawkbazar in Darjeeling.
04.30 pm: MHA denied report of not sending forces to West Bengal. At Darjeeling, 11 column has been deployed. Why is Mamata Banerjee not deploying East Bengal Rifles and Armed Police instead of blaming centre, asked MHA, as reported by The Indian Express.
03.45 pm: The Army had to be called out in Darjeeling as violence spread after death of a youth allegedly in police firing
03.30 pm: In a press briefing, West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, appealed to the people of Darjeeling to not resort to violence and instead make peace. Banerjee appealed to agitators in Darjeeling to withdraw shutdown, come for talks.
02.00 pm: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) toy train station torched by a group of people in Sonada, Darjeeling
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 8, 2017
12.00 pm: GNLF claim that one of its supporters, Tashi Bhutia, was shot dead by the police
With food supply severely hit due to the indefinite strike, the GJM and various NGOs distributed food amongst the
people. Barring medicine outlets, all shops, schools, colleges remained closed. Internet services remained suspended for the 21st day.
with inputs from Agencies