Tension grips Sukna as rallyists, cops clash

Security forces allegedly shoot Gorkhaland supporter
Report by: 
Prashant Acharya
SILIGURI
29 Jul 2017

Tension mounted in Sukna area after a Gorkhaland supporter was allegedly shot by security forces after violence erupted Saturday morning when thousands of people carried rally and tried to enter Siliguri area.
Ajay Chhetri from Garidhura was seriously injured and admitted at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital with bullet injury.
Three people were injured in clashes between state police and Gorkhaland supporters in Sukna around five kilometers from Siliguri. According to eye witness accounts among the three injured were three Gorkhaland supporters and two personnel from West Bengal police.
The violence erupted after section of Gorkhaland supporters were trying to lead a rally towards Siliguri which was stopped by the police.  Those injured in today's clash include Siliguri police Commissionerate ASC Pranab Sikdar who sustained head injury and Sanjay Ghosh, OC of Pradhan Nagar police station when Gorkhaland supporters resorted to pelting stones. Additional forces were called to control the situation; police used water cannon and tear gas to control the situation.
"Our injured supporters are being treated at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri in critical conditions," the GJM leader and Terai incharge Tshering Dahal central committee member of GJM said.  Police, however, denied reports of firing during the violent clash in Sukna.
"Police did not open fire bullets on protesters today. We used water cannon, lobbed tear gas shells and restored to lathicharge to disperse the protesters and to bring the situation under control," a police official told media persons.
Police claimed that protesters started the violence and vandalized several vehicles, including few police vans, and set up road blocks during the hour-long clash.
Local residents of Sukna said that the prevailing situation in the area continued to be tense till Saturday evening. Sukna is part of the proposed Gorkhaland state demanded by Gorkhaland supporters which entered 45th day of indefinite strike on Saturday.