Darjeeling : Massive protests broke out in Darjeeling, forcing the police to use tear gas and batons against the protesters.A day after an IED explosion in Darjeeling, it is reported that the police in the region used tear gas and batons to disperse GJM supporters at Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling as protests for a separate Gorkhaland state entered its 86th day.
While there have been several meetings between top level officials, the GJM agitation continues to echo in the state of West Bengal. No party has been able to solve the issue with dialogue and protests have become more frequent in the district.
The blast occurred last night, two days after shops and markets opened in the Mirik and Kurseong sub-divisions. A few shops in Mirik were opened in the morning, but they downed shutters by afternoon.The responsibility for the IED explosion, which occurred near the gate of the PWD bungalow yesterday, was claimed by the Gorkhaland Liberation Army (GLA).
The GLA claimed responsibility for the blast and warned of an “armed struggle” if the political parties settled for “anything less than Gorkhaland”. They claimed that the GLA was responsible for last night’s blast in Mirik.
Meanwhile, absconding GJM supremoBimalGurung today released an audio clip from an undisclosed location.
“The GJM will not take part in the September 12 talks with the state government if the issue of Gorkhaland is not discussed. We have already sent a delegation to Delhi to talk to the Union home minister regarding our demands,” he said in the audio clip.
The search operation to trace Gurung, against whom cases have been lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), continued in the Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas.Peace rallies were taken out at certain parts of the hills during the day, but they failed to convince the shopkeepers to open their shops and business establishments.Picketing by GJM supporters was strengthened in some areas and posters and leaflets were distributed in support of the strike.
Internet services remained suspended in the hills since June 18.