Hills simmer; Gorkhaland protest reaches Delhi

Centre’s intervention sought over army removal
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
9 Jul 2017

With a 110-metre long national flag, Gorkhaland supporters today marched in the national capital to reinforce their demand for a separate state and the immediate imposition of President's Rule in West Bengal. Protestors belonging to the Gorkha Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (GSSS) here demanded the Centre's intervention in removing paramilitary forces with immediate effect. "The West Bengal government is treating common people like terrorists and killing them. The central government should remove paramilitary forces and terminate the services of the Director General of Police," GSSS president Kiran B K  said. The protesters marched from Rajghat to Jantar Mantar carrying the flag, depicting 110 years of their struggle for separate state. The march culminated at Jantar Mantar where they joined their co-supporters who had been protesting for three weeks now. "Just like Bengalis have their identity, we are fighting for ours. We are getting killed for seeking the rights we deserve. The Centre should look into the issue," said Stuti Thami of Darjeeling, adding that she was "ready to die" but not to stay under the West Bengal government. Some of the placards that protesters carried criticised the BJP for its "attitude before and after the elections". The Gorkha Janmukti Marcha (GJM) today planned to take out rallies against the alleged killing of its supporters in police firing in Darjeeling as the indefinite shutdown in support of their demand for a separate Gorkhaland entered the 25th day amid a strict vigil by the Army and the police. The Army was re-deployed yesterday after fresh violence erupted in the Darjeeling hills where Gorkhaland supporters torched a police outpost, the toy train railway station and clashed with the police at two places. Meanwhile, in Darjeeling the Gorkha Janmukti Marcha (GJM) today plans to take out rallies against the alleged killing of its supporters in police firing as the indefinite shutdown in support of their demand for a separate Gorkhaland entered the 25th day amid a strict vigil by the Army and the police. The GJM leadership yesterday claimed that four persons were killed in police firing. The police, however, denied the reports of firing and said it did not fire a "single shot". The GJM claimed that while two pro-Gorkhaland supporters had died on the spot during the police firing, two others succumbed to injuries in hospital. The separatist group identified the four victims as Tashi Bhutia, Suraj Sundas, Asha Kumar and Sameer Subba. M S Rai, chairman of the Rai Development Board, resigned last night in protest against the alleged killings. The GJM also rejected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's offer of talks yesterday. The police are on high alert after fresh violence and arson erupted in Darjeeling hills yesterday. The Army was redeployed yesterday after the violence in Darjeeling hills where Gorkhaland supporters torched a police outpost, a toy train station and clashed with the police at two places in protest against the alleged killings. Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and GTA offices and various entry exit points of the hills while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed. Except medicine shops, all others shops and hotels are closed in Darjeeling.(PTI)