Darjeeling, July 5, 2017: Heavy rains halted an hour long stand-off between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters and the police in Kalimpong town leaving 3 GJM supporters and 5 policemen injured.
After a few days of lull, the Hills were again on the boil on Wednesday, the 21st day of the indefinite bandh call clamped by the GJM in the Hills of North Bengal. In the morning the routine GJM rally had taken to the streets at Kalimpong. The rally made its way from Dambar Chowk to the 10th Mile area in Kalimpong.
On reaching the 10th Mile area the rally went berserk and torched a 5 storied building which houses the Trinamool Congress party office of Kalimpong. As the police posted in the region went about dousing the fire, they were allegedly attacked by GJM supporters. Stones and bricks rained on the police from the road above.
Police in turn baton charged and burst tear gas shells. According to an eyewitness the standoff continued for an hour. Finally heavy rains quelled the situation. Morcha supporters then torched a North Bengal State Transport Office located at the Kalimpong Motor Stand. The fire engines were also stopped by the GJM supporters.
Tires were burnt in the thoroughfares of the Kalimpong town. "3 of our supporters were critically injured in police firing" alleged Binay Tamang, Assistant General Secretary, GJM. Tamang stated that one Bikram Rai has suffered head injury; Tikaram Bhujel with injury on the leg along with one PD Tamang.
Waving off the allegations, Ajit Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong, stated "The police did not resort to firing. The police burst tear gas shells. 5 policemen have been injured."
Incidentally a similar clash between security forces and GJM supporters in Singamari in Darjeeling town on June 17 had left 3 Morcha supporters dead and many security personnel injured.
The police has started a suo moto case against Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and other GJM leaders in connection with the June 17 deaths. Attributing the deaths to police firing, Gurung has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding CBI inquiry into the 17th June incident.