Amid rising tensions in the hills of West Bengal, police on Monday arrested Gorkhaland Territorial Administration’s Satish Pokhrel for allegedly participating in burning down the Bijanbari BDO office, reports news agency ANI. Police had earlier detained eight GJM activists for vandalising the government office in Bijanbari.
The agitating protesters also burnt down furniture, smashed window panes and broke computers at the PWD office in Darjeeling. With the region being shutdown for an indefinite period, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief, Bimal Gurung has urged the tourists to leave the hill station looking at the deteriorating situation in the region. Speaking to media the leader said, “It’s better if the tourists leave as the situation is deteriorating.” The local administration, however, claimed the situation was “normal”.
Commenting on the incident, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said his party has no hands in the damage caused to government properties, but he appreciated the response to the “appeal” for the shutdown was “good”. Giri said they could have enforced the bandh (shutdown) but instead they appealed to the people. Talking to media, Giri said,“We could have enforced the bandh but we have not done that. We only appealed to the people.” He also rejected the sate government’s assertion that attendance of the government was recorded.