Army alerted as violence flares up in Darjeeling, tourists flee

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Darjeeling, Nov 23 (UNI) Army was kept stand by as violence erupted in Darjeeling hills after ruling GNLF leader K G Gurung was grievously injured in an alleged attack by rival GJMM activists early today.

The Gorkha National Liberation Front called for an indefinite Darjeeling bandh in protest against the attack as hundreds of tourists rushed for an early return.

Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray in Kolkata said the troops were asked to stand by as the situation in the hills was volatile after a murderous attack on a ruling party member.

Local administration clamped Prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr PC and armed policemen intensifed patrolling in the town, which had worn almost a deserted look.

The administration was keeping a close watch on the situation, he said.

The Darjeeling District Magistrate said the situation was tense but under control.

GNLF's Darjeeling unit president Deepak Gurung while calling the indefinite bandh had urged police for the arrest of Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha founder Bimal Gurung and his supporters.

The GNLF leader alleged that Bimal Gurung was behind the attack on K B Gurung.

After the incident, GNLF supporters brandishing traditional weapon 'khukris' rampaged the town this evening and gheraoed police station, demanding arrest of Bimal Gurung.

People got panicky and preferred to stay indoors, while businessmen downed their shutters and vacationers were in a haste for early return.

The GJMM, however, denied its involvement in the attack.

UNI

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