West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh heckled on the streets of Darjeeling
Dilip Ghosh, BJP State President, West Bengal along with other BJP leaders were roughed up in Darjeeling on Thursday. Later Ghosh took refuge at the Darjeeling police station where the BJP filed an FIR naming rebel GJM leader Binay Tamang and others. Ghosh has demanded President's Rule or the lifting of the central paramilitary forces from the Hills.
While Ghosh along with BJP West Bengal Vice President Jayprakash Majumdar were pushed and shoved; Sagar Pokhrel, Darjeeling District Yout President , BJP and Deb Saha, Personal Secretary to Ghosh were grievously injured. Thursday morning saw a cat and mouse game between Ghosh and the protestors. Supporters of the Binay Tamang faction of the GJM had gathered at the Chowrasta at 11:20am carrying black flag. They were scheduled to protest in front of the Hotel where Ghosh was scheduled to put up.
From the Chowrasta the demonstrators gathered in front of the Gorkha Ranga Mancha from where Ghosh's car was scheduled to pass. After a long wait and with no vehicles in site, the protestors returned to the Chowrasta.
After some time there was news that his vehicle would be passing from in front of the Raj Bhawan. The protestors then moved towards Raj Bhawan.
After a long wait and no Ghosh in site, the protestors decided to return to Chowrasta again.
Meanwhile Ghosh after arriving in Darjeeling was welcomed by supporters of the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM. He addressed a street corner in Chowk Bazaar and then visited Roy Villa, the house where Sister Nivedita had breathed her last.
At around 1:20pm the protestors decided to march to Gorkha Dekkha Niwaran Sammelan (GDNS) hall where Ghosh was supposed to meet GJM affiliated Nari Morcha, the Kurseong MLA and families of the persons who had died in police firing in the agitation.
The protestors marched into the GDNS Hall where the supporters of the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM had gathered.
At around 3:10pm Dilip Ghosh along with Jayprakash Majumdar, Vice President, West Bengal, BJP along with other BJP leaders.
Protests broke out with the protestors shouting slogans and waving black flags. Ghosh tried to pacify the crowd but was not successful. "BJP go back" "Dilip Ghosh go back" "We want Gorkhaland" reverberated.
After around 20 minutes Ghosh decided to cancel the meeting and walked out. On the Hill Cart Road as the BJP group started walking towards the Chowk Bazar, they were roughed up by the protestors.
Though Ghosh was saved by other BJP leaders and supporters, blows, sticks and kicks were rained on the others.
Finally the BJP team took refuge at the Darjeeling police station where an FIR was lodged.
"The whole incident was remote controlled from Kolkata. It was done by some goons who were hired by the State Government. They shouted Binay Tamang zindabad. The goons have been exposed. These are the people who have been creating unrest and violence for the past 3 months. It is planned by the TMC and executed by Binay Tamang. There was not a single policeman. If the police want they can arrest the attackers as there are ample video footages" stated Ghosh.
Ghosh apprised BJP National President Amit Shah about the incident. The West Bengal BJP will embark on widespread protests throughout the state against this incident from Friday.
"I have also apprised Keshari Nath Tripathi, the Governor of West Bengal that there is a total law and order failure in the Hills. Let there be Presidents rule or lift the Central paramilitary Forces" added Dilip Ghosh.
When questioned Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling stated "We had received a letter stating that Dilip Ghosh would be staying at the Circuit House and would be attending a meeting at the GDNS Hall. Though permission was not granted for the meeting at the GDNS adequate police arrangement was made at GDNS and Circuit House."
The SP stated that there was an incident of a scuffle on the road. "We have received a complaint. Necessary action will be taken against the miscreants" stated the SP.
"The incident is a fallout of inciting statements given by Dilip Ghosh. People are annoyed as the BJP has not been with the Hills during the unrest. There is resentment against the BJP which was ventilated on Thursday. The BJP is trying to provoke unrest in the Hills" stated Gautam Deb, Minister in charge of Tourism, Government of West Bengal.
Incidentally Ghosh along with other BJP leaders are on a tour of the Hills. On Wednesday they were in Kalimpong. In Kalimpong too there were demonstrations against the BJP by the Jan Andolan Party asking the party to clarify their stand on Gorkhaland.
Talking to media persons in Kalimpong on Wednesday, Ghosh had stated "Gorkhaland is their demand. In this area around 15 lakh Gorkhas reside, whereas in the country there are 1 Crore 30 lakh Gorkhas. What about them? Can they all come and live here. Is this practical? We want security and development of the 1crore 30 lakh Gorkhas. Gorkhaland is the sentiment of the Hills. It is altogether a different sentiment. They can make a demand. The Government should hear them out and work out an amicable solution."