West Bengal government seeks Army deployment in Darjeeling

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Jalpaiguri, Feb 9 (ANI): The West Bengal government has requested the Centre for deployment of the Army in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal after two people were killed when police opened fire to disperse a crowd of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) protesters who violated prohibitory orders.

The Defence Ministry, however, is yet to respond to the Sstate government's request.

The police claim that they opened fire after supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, who had blocked roads, stabbed a woman constable. They had earlier tried to disperse the crowd with a lathicharge and teargas but had failed.

Surajit Kar Purpurkayastha, Additional Director General and Inspector General of Police said the police officials are trying to control the situation in the region.

"Right now, the police have been deployed there, senior officers are there and we also have four companies of CRPF including one lady company apart from State and Central forces have been deployed in the area to take control of the situation," said Purpurkayastha.

On Tuesday, Home Secretary G. K. Pillai has said that forces are available and they have asked the State government to deploy additional forces if it is required.

"We have asked them to move any additional forces they require. We already have three companies and one women company there. Any further additional forces, they can take from the West Midnapore district, the forces are available," said Pillai.

Close to 3000 GJM supporters were on a relay hunger strike since January 29 at Sipchu at the border between Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts to demand the inclusion of parts of Jalpaiguri in their proposed Gorkhaland state.

The objective of conducting the march was to maintain peace, tranquility and harmony among the people of Terai and Darjeeling hills including Dooars.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal estimated to be around a million has been demanding a separate state. (ANI)

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