AT A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss a police report on the Darjeeling shutdown, it was allegedly observed that police action against protesters in the Hills had worsened the situation. The report by IPS officers Javed Shamim, Siddhinath Gupta and Ajay Nanda was submitted to state DGP Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Tuesday. Following this, Mamata convened a meeting — attended by state chief secretary, home secretary, DGP and other officials — at Nabanna. The IPS officers had gone to Darjeeling on June 9 to assess the situation in the Hills.
Sources at Nabanna said it was decided that the state government would not use force to prevent any protests in the Hills, provided the people did not resort to agitations. The government reportedly also decided to increase surveillance in the Hills to learn the strategy of GJM leaders and foil suicide attempts in demand of Gorkhaland, sources added. Further, check points would allegedly be set up at key areas in Darjeeling to prevent smuggling of arms from other states.
Secretariat sources quoting the report told PTI that GJM members have stockpiled their arms and ammunition at Gorubathan in Kalimpong, Sukhiapokhri in Darjeeling and Bhaktapur in Nepal. PTI further quoted the report as saying that the workers are suffering from shortage of ammunition.
Protection will be provided to government offices, and rations shops will be opened to tackle the food crisis in Darjeeling, sources said.
The report added that food and essential commodities were reaching the Hills through Gorubathan, Sikkim and Nepal, reported PTI, adding that the Gorkhaland movement had become more democratic.
Sources said the government is determined to restore peace in the Hills and is ready to hold talks with protesters to resolve the issue.