Sporadic incidents of violence and arson rocked the northern West Bengal hills of Darjeeling on Sunday after a fresh flare-up in the region following a pro-Gorkhaland activist’s death allegedly in police firing. The agitators on Sunday morning set on fire the Sub-divisional office in Kurseong, resulting in the building getting partially burnt, the state police said. The pro-Gorkhaland activists also torched the Pokhribing Panchayat office and vandalised a police outpost in Darjeeling’s Pokhari on Sunday.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters went on a rampage on Saturday and attacked a police outpost and government offices in the hills, accusing West Bengal state personnel of shooting one of their activists. While the police denied the allegations, the two prominent political parties in the hills — the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Gorkha National Liberation Front — claimed the deceased Tashi Bhutia was one of their active party members.
An FIR over his death was lodged at Darjeeling’s Sonada police station. The picturesque Darjeeling hills have been on the boil since last month over a demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha spearheading the movement has called for an indefinite shutdown in the hills till the demand for Gorkhaland is fulfilled.