Gorkhaland activists approach rights panel for justice

December 16th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri, Dec 16 (IANS) Protesting an attack on its supporters last week, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking an end to what it terms “state-sponsored terrorism”.”We have sent a letter to NHRC Monday demanding its intervention into the collusion of the police and administration with those perpetrating violence against us,” GJM press and publicity secretary Binoy Tamang told IANS Tuesday.

Tamang said he did not understand why Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) cadres were attacking supporters of the GJM, which is leading a democratic movement for the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state in the hill areas of northern Bengal.

He alleged as these parties were constituents of the state’s ruling Left Front, the police looked the other way when their activists attacked GJM members. “Later, instead of coming to the rescue of our suppporters who were being mercilessly beaten up, the police attacked them with canes,” he said.

“We have given a list of the accused, who had attacked the GJM supporters Dec 10, to the police and demanded immediate action against them. But now we find it has all been meaningless. So, we had to turn to the NHRC for justice,” Tamang said.

At least 25 people, including 10 policemen, were injured last week following violent clashes between rival GJM and Jana Jagaran Mancha (JJM) at Hamiltonganj in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

The clashes took place occurred when GJM activists, who surrounded the Block Development Office and the Gram Panchayat office at Hamiltonganj under Alipurduar sub-division, met with resistance from workers of JJM, which is opposed to the creation of a Gorkhaland state.

After the incident, the GJM gave a call for a 12-hour shutdown in Darjeeling Hills and the neighbouring Terai and Dooars regions Thursday (Dec 11).

A round of tripartite talks held in the national capital to resolve the issue has not been able to break the deadlock so far.

“We have also called a central committee meeting Dec 22 to decide whether our representatives will participate in the tripartite meeting in New Delhi Dec 29,” Tamang said.

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