FOUR SECURITY personnel from the state police and one from CRPF sustained injuries when suspected Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) workers attacked a patrol party at the Teesta Valley area of Darjeeling district late Thursday.
“One of our sub-inspectors and three constables were injured in the attack by GJM activists,” a senior police officer in Darjeeling said. The condition of the injured personnel, who have been taken to Anandlok Hospital in Siliguri, is stable, the officer added.
The attack allegedly took place when the personnel had gone to a village near Teesta Valley — 40 km from Darjeeling town — to conduct a search operation after a community hall, which served as a temporary CRPF camp, was set on fire by protesters on Tuesday. Police said a mob attacked the security personnel with stones and traditional Nepali khukri, injuring them seriously.
GJM workers also allegedly attacked the residence of Mirik Municipality vice-chairman M K Zimba and set on fire the house of Trinamool Congress’ Rangli Rangliyat block president Sanjay Subba in the wee hours of Friday. Also, GJM supporters reportedly ransacked Rangli Rangliat police outpost and snatched an SLR and a pistol. Two police vehicles were set ablaze, said sources.
Zimba and his wife have been admitted to Anandlok Hospital.
Trinamool Hill committee president Rajen Mukhia said: “I am at M K Zimba’s home. Morcha activists had thrown a petrol bomb into the bedroom where Zimba and his wife were sleeping around 12.50 am. His children, a son and a daughter, were sleeping in the next room. He has a personal security officer, but he was sleeping at the time of the attack… Thankfully, most of the impact of the blast was felt outside.”
Both Zimba and his wife sustained minor injuries, he added.
“Subba’s house, however, has been completely gutted. But he had managed to escape with his wife and one-and-a-half-month-old daughter,” said Mukhia.
“We have informed our leaders Gautam Deb and Aroop Biswas. I have also issued a formal statement for the people of Darjeeling… a message to the GJM… that ‘you are not going to get Gorkhaland by attacking your own people’. Continue your talks with the Centre and fight for your cause, but these attacks are heinous,” he added.
The Trinamool also alleged that the building of the Tung Gram panchayat was set on fire on Thursday night.
However, dismissing the allegations, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said: “These were not Morcha workers, they are simply trying to malign Morcha’s image, that’s all I have to say.”
Meanwhile, the indefinite shutdown of the Hills over the demand for Gorkhaland entered its 17th day on Friday. Life remained crippled due to the bandh in Darjeeling where Internet services were shut. Security forces patrolled the trouble-torn areas.
A meeting of political outfits, including the GJM, had on Thursday decided to carry on with the indefinite shutdown.