Darjeeling unrest: Mamata Banerjee accuses Modi government of backing Gorkhaland stir, Amit Shah hits back

Mamata Banerjee said the kind of "hooliganism and vandalism," being seen during the unrest in the hills, can only be done if there is a "terrorist brain" behind it, and the Centre should extend full help to the state to contain it

By: PTI | Mumbai/kolkata | Updated: June 17, 2017 10:49 pm
GJM workers hurled bombs and petrol bombs on policemen, apart from throwing stones, in Darjeeling on June 17, 2017. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Amid the fresh agitation for Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the Modi government of encouraging the stir and claimed there was a “deep-rooted” conspiracy” behind it. She, however, did not directly blame the BJP for the violent agitation, which she claimed was supported by insurgent groups of the northeast and some foreign countries.

Her remarks drew a derisive response from BJP chief Amit Shah, who said she saw “conspiracy in everything”. Banerjee said the kind of “hooliganism and vandalism,” being seen during the unrest in the hills, can only be done if there is a “terrorist brain” behind it, and the Centre should extend full help to the state to contain it.

“What is happening today is a deep-rooted conspiracy. So many bombs and arms cannot be gathered in a day… These have been gathered for a long time. “From where are they (GJM) are getting their support? Their advantage is it (Darjeeling) is a hill area and there are borders with other states and international borders.”

“They are using the national flag for vandalism, which they cannot do. I will request the Central government not to encourage them to behave like this. If anything happens to any foreigner (tourist) it will bring bad name to the country,” Banerjee said.

“There is a terrorist brain behind this hooliganism and vandalism. Only a terrorist and not a common man can do this. We have got clues that this has terrorist connections. They (GJM) have connections with underground insurgent groups of the northeast … I request them (insurgent groups) not to extend any support to the GJM,” Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.

She said the GJM was being helped by some other countries too but did not elaborate. Responding to the charge, BJP chief Amit Shah took potshots at Banerjee in Mumbai, saying she smelt “conspiracy in everything”.

“Mamata sees conspiracy in everything. She had made similar allegations against the Indian Army as well,” Shah told a press conference when asked about Banerjee dubbing the ongoing agitation in Darjeeling “a deep-rooted conspiracy”.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which controls the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is an ally of BJP whose S S Ahluwalia represents Darjeeling in the Lok Sabha.

When asked about Ahluwalia backing the agitation and whether BJP supported it, Shah said,”It is true that we are in favour of small states. Once we decide something about it, we will announce it.” He, however, did not say if the party wanted a separate state of Gorkhaland carved out of West Bengal.

Shah’s comment about smaller states comes ahead of his meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray tomorrow. Thackeray has been consistently opposing the demand for formation of a separate Vidarbha state carved out of Maharashtra. The current Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also backed it when his party was in the opposition.

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  1. B
    Bhawana Thakuri
    Jun 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm
    This lady is mad...she knows nothing..How can she allege demand for gor nd as an conspiracy ..Let me know how decent are you ? your at ude towards the people are merciless and like a dictator...We cannot tolerate dictatorship in a democrtic country.Our demand is within Article 3(a)of the cons ution. We have all historic do ents to stand in favour of our demand for gor nd. A lady like you will spoil the peace n tranquility. The strength of the public in a democratic country is strong to throw a person like u out of power. In a democratic country there is no king and a ruler..the king the rulers are the people. Amit shah should not take much time to decide about gor nd when they support formation of small state. In a democratic country the voice of the people is all in all. Thank to god that demand for Gor nd is not a demand for separation from India but if such step mother at ude is shown to the demand then it may also be like a demand for Azaad Kashmir.