Darjeeling violence: Even after several days of continued violence and protest, Darjeeling is still on the boil as it witnessed another shutdown on Sunday. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership is holding a protest rally with the bodies of two persons allegedly killed during Saturday’s clashes. The GJM has claimed that two of their supporters were shot dead by police in Singmari. However, the police rejected the allegations of firing by its personnel. As reported by PTI, a senior GJM leader on Sunday said, “We will conduct the rally at Chowbazar with the bodies.” However, the police has declined them the permission to hold any rally. A senior police official said, “No one has been given permission to hold a rally in the hills.” Also, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday had said that the ongoing agitation in Darjeeling hills was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” supported by the insurgent groups of the Northeast and some foreign countries.
The GJM had rubbished the allegation made by Banerjee, saying that she was trying to malign the Gorkhas fighting for their identity. Also, GJM chief Bimal Gurung on Sunday termed as “white lies” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that the agitation in Darjeeling hills was supported by insurgent groups, and asserted the struggle for a separate Gorkhaland state would be intensified. “The allegations are baseless, Mamata Banerjee is trying to mislead people. It is not a political fight but a fight for our own identity. We will not stop until and unless Gorkhaland is achieved. The struggle will intensify in the hills,” Gurung said in an audio-visual statement.
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The police forces have been kept on high alert after yesterday’s violence and arson. On the boil for the past 10 days over a separate state demand, Darjeeling has witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police in which one person was killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an India Reserve Battalion (IRB) officer.