Bandh paralyses Hills in Bengal

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Siliguri, Apr 10 (UNI) The 24-hour Hills bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) paralysed North Bengal, though Siliguri remained largely unaffected.

The bandh, which was called to protest the alleged police excesses on GJM supporters yesterday, was suported by the Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP).

Though the hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong were shut down by the bandh, life remained normal in Siliguri.

Meanwhile, supporters of GJM and KPP sat on a token hunger strike at Matigara to protest the alleged unprovoked attack by the police.

At least 25 police personnel, including Siliguri District Superintendent of Police Pradip Kumar Dutta, were injured in clashes between Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters and police at the Darjeeling More in the district yesterday.

Official sources said a group of ex-Army personnel had taken out a rally in support of the GJM. However, they did not obtain the necessary permission for the procession.

When the police tried to stop them, the agitators broke through the barricades and attacked the policemen, injuring 25 of them. 15 of the injured were shifted to Siliguri hospital.

Police also resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to quell the mob.

However, GJM sources alleged that 11 of the ex-Army personnel were injured and two of them had to be shifted to the Army hospital.

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