Four additional companies of CRPF deployed in the North Bengal Hills
Darjeeling, July 16, 2017: Complying with the orders of the Calcutta High Court, 4 companies of CRPF arrived at the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong district on Sunday.
Incidentally on Friday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising of acting
Chief Justice Nishita Mhatrey and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty had directed the Union Government to rush 4 companies of CRPF to the Hills within 48 hours. Already 11 companies of Central Armed Police Force are deployed in the Hills.
Out of the four companies, one company was deployed at Kalimpong; one at Sonada, 16 km away from Darjeeling town and 2 companies in Darjeeling town. Out of the two companies in Darjeeling, one company is deployed at Singamari and one at Lebong.
Both Singamari and Lebong are Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) strongholds and have now turned into political hotbeds. The GJM party head quarters is located at Singamari.
This area has witnessed numerous flashpoints since GJM launched the ongoing agitation on June 8.
A controversy was sparked with the arrival of the CRPF in Darjeeling town. The authorities of St. Joseph's College located in Singamari complained that despite not given permission the CRPF forcefully entered the premises and set up camp.
"During any natural calamity or elections we allow our premises to be used. There is a people's movement on and we live here with these people. Under such conditions the college could face problems owing to the CRPF staying here. This is a private college" stated Father Jose of the St. Joseph's College.
Reacting to this Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Magistrate, Darjeeling stated "We have no other Government properties to house the CRPF. The property has been requisitioned. The college is closed now. As soon as the college opens up we will remove the CRPF from the premises."
Meanwhile GJM President Bimal Gurung has threatened to intensify the ongoing agitation. "In a few days the agitation will be intensified. This land is thirsting for more blood. Already 7 persons are dead. What the Hills have witnessed till now is just the trailer." stated Gurung.
The day saw a cultural rally in Darjeeling and a Khukuri rally in Kurseong. Dressed in traditional attire, artistes sang pro-Gorkhaland songs on the streets of Darjeeling.
Teachers and educationists also took out a silent rally in support of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling town on Sunday.
There was an incident of arson at the Forest Training School in Kurseong. Forest lodges at Sitong and Garidhura were also torched.