Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) protesters not to resort to violence and, instead hold dialogue with the government to resolve the issue.
“We have come to know from the police that there is a link with terrorists”. They are using Indian flag and resorting to violence.
Banerjee urged the people in the hills to not listen to the GJM leadership.
Gurung, whose party is spearheading the movement, also gave out a clarion call to his supporters to intensify their demand to carve out a new state from West Bengal named Gorkhaland. There is also no question of going back to the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) in the state.
According to the GJM’s assistant general secretary Binay Tamang, Mahesh Gurung from Relling, Sunil Rai and Bimal Sashankar from Bijanbari area wee killed in police firing.
The GJM has claimed that three of their supporters were shot dead by police in the Hills yesterday.
The police further said that as many as 36 security personnel were injured in the clashed, DNA reported.
Later in the day, the effects of the trouble were felt in Kalimpong’s Gorubathan market where GJM supporters allegedly torched a vehicle of the power supply authority, while the Jaldhaka police station was vandalised. A number of police vehicles were set on fire, he said. He is said to be in critical condition. Many police personnel are seriously injured. “If anything happens it will be a shame for the country”, Banerjee said on Saturday.
“It’s a planned conspiracy by the GJM supporters as we have received information that they have piled up a huge cache of illegal arms and ammunition, and have already planned to start their violence before the elections”, she added.
It may be recalled that the Army has already been called to take control of the situation.
Terming the situation in the hills as “very very volatile”, GJM leader Amar Singh Rai claimed a separate state of Gorkhaland is the biggest priority for them and rebuffed any possibility of discussions with the Bengal government.
Baton-wielding police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters as unrest over a long-simmering separatist movement rattles the town at the height of India’s tourist season. The rally turned violent, resulting in clashes between GJM supporters and security personnel, it said.
“Police did not open fire”.
The party called for a 12-hour strike in Dooars on Sunday.
While maintaining that violence would not serve any objective, he added, “Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue”.
A large contingent of CRPF has also been posted at Singhmari, Patlabas and Darjeeling. Earlier, IRB sources said Tamang was killed in the clash. “We also want peace and normalcy to return to the hills, but with such an attitude of the Bengal government, it is unlikely to happen”.