Kolkata, June 19: As the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling entered the eight day on Monday, several theories are doing the rounds about the reasons behind the sudden outburst of local people in the hill town.
While the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha started the agitation after the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal announced its decision to make Bengali compulsory for students in schools, which later spiraled into a violent protest over the renewed demand for Gorkhaland, the ruling Trinamool Congress party alleged that the Morcha leaders started the protest to hide their involvement in massive misappropriation of funds.
According to TMC leaders, the GJM which has been running the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is involved in massive corruption.
"Since 2012, the GTA has received Rs 900 crore from the state government and Rs 600 crore from the central government. It has not submitted documents on how the money was spent. Recently, the Trinamool government has asked for a special audit of GTA funds. This has rattled the GJM, which believes its misdeeds are about to be exposed and its electoral future is in jeopardy," Derek O'Brien, leader of parliamentary party TMC (RS) and chief national spokesperson of the party, wrote in an article in NDTV.
"That is why it has gone back on a key clause in the Memorandum of Agreement on the GTA signed in 2011 by the Centre, the state government and the GJM. The clause reads: The GJM agrees to ensure that peace and normalcy will be maintained in the region. Today, the GJM is inciting violence," O'Brien alleged.
The agitation in Darjeeling took a violent turn when three GJM supporters were allegedly killed in a police firing on Saturday. On the same day, several policemen sustained severe injuries because of alleged attacks by protesters.
On Sunday, during the seventh day of the indefinite bandh called by the GJM, an uneasy calm prevailed in the hill town. The last rites of the three protesters, who died on Saturday, were performed on Sunday after a procession was carried out by the GJM members on the streets of Darjeeling.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday tweeted and asked all the stakeholders in Darjeeling to maintain peace. Singh added that the issue could be resolved through talks.