Fresh GNLF-GJM clashes in Mirik, Gurung leaves for Kolkata

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Siliguri, Feb 27(UNI) The Hills continued to be on the boil leaving 25 injured in fresh GNLF-GJM clashes in Naxalbari under Mirik Police Station, even as GJM leader Bimal Gurung left for Kolkata today to meet Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The agitators also assaulted six-seven policemen when they rushed in to intervene from the Panighata police camp, police said, adding one of their vehicles was also vandalised.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee, under the directions of party supremo Mamata Banerjee, met Gorkha Janamukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung in Pintail village before leaving for Bagdogra airport.

He also met the agitators who are on a hunger strike near Subash Ghisingh's guesthouse since February 17.

The GJM is demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland as against implementation of the Sixth Schedule in the Hills, which is favoured by Subash Ghisingh led Gorkha National Liberation Front. The GJM wants removal of DGHC administrative head Subash Ghisingh from his position and the proposed Sixth Schedule, slated to be passed in the budget session of Parliament, cancelled, because ''it is not suitable'' for the Hills.

Trouble broke out in Panighata, near Naxalbari, when GJM agitators reached the spot to participate in the hunger strike there. GNLF activists, led by Rajen Mukhiya, stopped them leading to clashes. GJM supporters had earlier been on a week-long hunger strike from February 7.

Additional police force from Siliguri, Naxalbari, Bagdogra, Mirik and Kurseong had rushed to the spot. Rapid Action Force and combat forces had also been called in from the Darjeeling district police headquaters.

The police said the situation was now under control with no further reports of violence.

However, tension persisted in the area, with some shops remaining closed for fear of further clashes giving the area a bandh-like look.

Meanwhile, there was a 12-hour relaxation in the general strike today from 0630 hours. The strike began on February 17.

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