As the indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha enters its seventh day in Darjeeling Hills, protests over the demand for a separate state are set to intensify with party chief Bimal Gurung asking his supporters to defy curfew and assemble at Chowk Bazaar on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed for calm after speaking to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the situation in Darjeeling which has witnessed widespread violence since June 8. Rajnath Singh said all concerned parties should resolve their differences through dialogue in an amicable environment.
On Saturday, Darjeeling had witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police in which one person was killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an India Reserve Battalion officer. Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh said the Centre would send more forces "if required" to Darjeeling.
Gurung on Sunday said,''Mamata Banerjee's allegations are baseless. She is trying to mislead people. It is not a political fight but a fight for our own identity. We will not stop until and unless Gorkhaland is achieved. The struggle will intensify in the hills.''
Banerjee had on Saturday said that the GJM-led agitation in Darjeeling hills is a "deep-rooted conspiracy" supported by the insurgent groups of the Northeast and some foreign countries.