Tension continues after Gorkhaland clash in West Bengal

February 8th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri, Feb 8 (IANS) Tension continued to prevail in the Darjeeling hills and Terai and Dooars areas of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal a day after widespread violence Saturday claimed two lives and left 20 injured. But the police said Sunday there were no incidents of fresh violence.
Five companies of paramilitary Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have been requisitioned by the state administration. “Four companies are in Dooars and the other at Debidanda area of Siliguri sub-division (of Darjeeling district),” said Jalpaiguri district magistrate Bandana Yadav.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of more than four persons were in force in over nine police stations’ areas in the Dooars, she said.

Darjeeling district police superintendent Rahul Srivastava said there were rumours of fresh violence in Debidanda, but a police party found the situation peaceful.

Saturday’s violence occurred during a 24-hour shutdown called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state in West Bengal hills, the police said.

The GJM - spearheading the demand for a separate state - called the shutdown in the Terai and Dooars regions of Jalpaiguri district and the Darjeeling hills to insist that they be allowed to hold political meetings in the Dooars and the plains.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Bikash Parishad (ABABP) vice-president Sukra Munda said his organisation would announce a social boycott of individuals who have joined the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) floated by the GJM.

The ABABP set a one-month ultimatum to the state government to ensure that the GJM did not undertake any pro-Gorkhaland activity in the Dooars.

“If the government does not do anything, we will launch a non-cooperation movement a month from now,” Munda said.

The GJM, led by Bimal Gurung, has been leading a movement in the hills for a separate Gorkhaland state, besides opposing special status to the hill governing body Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

The central government in 2005 conferred the Sixth Schedule status on the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)-led Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), ensuring greater autonomy to the governing body.

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