Two die, 20 injured in Gorkhaland clash in West BengalFebruary 8th, 2009 - 11:36 am ICT by IANS
Siliguri, Feb 7 (IANS) Two people were killed and 20 injured Saturday in widespread violence during a 24-hour shutdown over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state in West Bengal hills, the police said.
The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) - spearheading the demand for a separate state - had called the shutdown in Terai and Dooars regions of Jalpaiguri district and the Darjeeling hills demanding that they be allowed to hold political meetings.
“GJM activists forcibly closed a furniture shop at Chamurchi area of Dooars and set all furniture on fire Saturday. This led to a clash between GJM and anti-GJM supporters,” state police inspector general (North Bengal) K.L. Tamta said.
“Two persons - a GJM activist and a businessman - were killed in the clash. At least 20 have been injured. About 30 houses have been set ablaze,” Tamta said.
Another clash erupted between GJM supporters and their rivals at Debidanga area of Siliguri sub-division in Darjeeling district.
“Nine were injured (in Siliguri). We have detained 13 people for the incident,” Tamta said.
GJM activists at Gorubathan area of Kalimpong sub-division surrounded a police station and threw stones at the building demanding arrest of those who killed their co-worker.
“They (GJM activists) gheraoed (blockaded) the Gorubathan police station and damaged police vehicles demanding immediate arrest of the culprits,” Tamta said.
GJM spokesperson Benoy Tamang alleged that rival Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) provoked people to attack them.
“It’s a joint conspiracy of the CPI-M and state police to force us to stop our movement. They provoked the locals and the tribals against us and as a result one of our co-workers was killed and at least 20 GJM houses were burnt down,” Tamang said.
The police fired teargas. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed in the area.
“We have also asked for paramilitary force to help us maintain law and order in the area,” Tamta said.
The GJM, led by Bimal Gurung, has been leading a movement in the hills for a separate state, besides opposing the Sixth Schedule status for Darjeeling district.
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.
- GJM calls indefinite shutdown in hills - Feb 09, 2011
- Shutdown disrupts life in Darjeeling hills - Feb 09, 2011
- Gorkha group threatens indefinite Darjeeling shutdown - Jun 18, 2010
- Shutdown in Bengal's Terai, Dooars evokes mixed response - Apr 23, 2012
- Day 3 of shutdown in Darjeeling, tension continues - Feb 11, 2011
- GJM activists stone Sikkim-bound vehicles - May 15, 2010
- Bangla group's shutdown call evokes partial response - Jan 17, 2011
- GJM supporters go on rampage in Darjeeling (Lead) - Feb 09, 2011
- Violent clashes, arson mark shutdown in Bengal's Terai, Dooars (Lead) - Apr 23, 2012
- WB Police detains 18 people in connection with GJM leader murder - May 21, 2010
- Day 4 of Darjeeling shutdown: Interlocutor meets officials - Feb 12, 2011
- Darjeeling pact signed amid euphoria and protests (Roundup) - Jul 18, 2011
- Trucks torched, Gorkhaland demand intensifies in Darjeeling (Lead) - Feb 10, 2011
- GJM leader Nicole Tamang flees from CID custody - Aug 22, 2010
- Two GJM workers injured in police firing in Bengal - Feb 08, 2011
Tags: communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, culprits, darjeeling district, darjeeling hills, dooars, furniture shop, gjm, gorkha, north bengal, paramilitary force, police inspector, police vehicles, political meetings, rapid action, siliguri, tamta, terai, tribals, west bengal