BJP asks state govt to shun use of force in Darjeeling

Ahluwalia seeks 'high-level' probe into alleged police firing
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
3 Aug 2017

The BJP today asked the West Bengal government to shun use of force in the tense Darjeeling, saying the crisis there could not be resolved through bullet.

Union minister S S Ahluwalia, who represents the hilly region in the Lok Sabha, also sought a "high-level" probe into the alleged police firing in Darjeeling in which three protesters were killed, calling it "unpardonable". Addressing a press conference in which he was accompanied by members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), Ahluwalia also expressed hope that peace will be restored there before August 15. "The crisis in Darjeeling cannot be resolved through bullet. Repressive measures and brutalities of police are not the solution," he said, making an appeal to the state's Trinamool Congress government and the GMCC for bringing peace and ending violence.

This 50-day long crisis can only be resolved through political dialogue and for that peace was needed to be restored in the town, he said, requesting GMCC members to end their fast and call off their strike. "Gorkhas are known for their honesty and loyalty for the country. They never hesitate in sacrificing their life for the nation. So I would also request them to call off their fast and end the strike," Ahluwalia said. As the MP of Darjeeling, he will submit a memorandum on behalf of the GMCC to the Prime Minister and the Union home minister. Meanwhile, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) took out rallies in various parts of the Darjeeling hills today demanding restoration of Internet services and immediate withdrawal of police force. No incident of violence has been reported since Wednesday night but the police and security personnel are keeping a vigil as the indefinite strike called by the GJM, in support of its demand for a separate Gorkhaland, entered its 50th day today.

12 activists of GJM's youth wing, the Yuva Morcha, are observing a fast-unto-death over the demand for Gorkhaland, since July 21. "We want our separate state of Gorkhaland. And in our new state, there is no place for police personnel from Bengal. This indefinite shutdown will continue and we are ready to sacrifice our lives for Gorkhaland," GJM youth wing president Prakash Gurung said. Apart from the GJM, several other hill parties and intellectuals have plans to march on the streets of Darjeeling with black flags and placards. Barring pharmacies, all shops, schools and colleges remained closed. Internet services are suspended since June 18.