West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for Army deployment in Darjeeling in the wake of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters clashing with police there, according to CNN News18. Several police vehicles were set on fire by the GJM supporters today leading to the state government asking for deployment of extra forces there. The clash between police and GJM supporters took place after massive protests broke out in Darjeeling. The Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha protested against state govt’s proposal of making Bengali language compulsory in government schools. The major reason behind the agitation of the GJM supporters among other things was the ‘imposition of Bengali language in the schools in the hills,’ according to PTI reports. As per latest developments, the Army said that they have not received any request from the state government to control the situation in Darjeeling. As the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has called for an indefinite strike in Darjeeling from tomorrow. Mamata Banerjee has convened an emergency meeting at the Raj Bhavan.
The police used baton charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the agitators. GJM supporters hurled brickbats and they even tried to break the barricades that were put up by the police. Police vehicles were damaged and security personnel were injured during the clash. The Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha has called for an indefinite strike to press for its demands.
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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary, Home secretary, and other high officials were present at the hill town when the clash took place. Inconvenience was caused to tourists, shopkeepers and others too traffic had come to a halt because of the dharna by the GJM supporters who were shouting slogans against the chief minister.
CM Banerjee in her reaction on GJM’s opposition to the alleged “imposition of Bengali language” in the schools in the hills made it clear that Bengali was not made a compulsory subject. “Rather, we gave recognition to the Nepali language”.
The army has deployed two columns comprising of 80 troops each to violence-hit Darjeeling.