Residents of Siliguri on Sunday took out a rally to protest against the demand for Gorkhaland, and call for the restoration of peace in the Darjeeling hills. Around 1,000 college students were part of the rally. Some of them were carrying the national flag, while others displayed banners with slogans such as “We want peace” and “We won’t fight, we want peace”. However, the rally — which started from Bagha Jatin Park in Siliguri — was stopped by police near Air View Crossing. Participants tried to break through the barricades, but police showed restraint. The rally was later allowed to move forward.
Some participants staged a protest at Air View Crossing, and burnt effigies of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung. Many of the protesters voiced the opinion that West Bengal should not be divided at any cost, and peace must be restored in Darjeeling hills.
One of the protesters allegedly hurled stones at cars which displayed Sikkim license plates. The driver of one such car was injured during this stone-throwing.
As the situation began to turn violent, officers from Siliguri Police Commissionerate reached the spot and controlled the situation.
“There was some problem near Air View Crossing. However, the situation was brought under control,” said a senior police officer.