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21 Jun 2017

Govt report points to Morcha-militant links

TT, New Delhi, June 20: The Bengal government has said in a report to the Centre that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha protesters resorting to violence and vandalism in Darjeeling have links with militant groups in the Northeast, Union home ministry sources said today.
Terming the situation in Darjeeling "tense but largely under control", the report also mentioned that the state government was ready to initiate a dialogue with the Morcha in a conducive environment.
The Mamata Banerjee government has categorically mentioned that elections are due to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
The Morcha decided today that it would withdraw from the GTA and would not opt for talks with the state government.
"In its report, the Bengal government has mentioned a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the violence in Darjeeling. The state government has said Morcha agitators have links with militant outfits in the Northeast. It also mentioned that militants have strong influence in the affected areas of Darjeeling," a senior home ministry official said.
"The report mentioned that the state police had seized arms, explosives and unaccounted cash from Morcha chief Bimal Gurung's home," the official added.
The report denied that the police fired on protesters and highlighted how they had torched police vehicles and ransacked government property. The Morcha has claimed three of its supporters were killed in police firing on Saturday.
"The state government report said 24 cases had been registered against Morcha supporters till June 13 for instigating violence," the ministry official said.
The report does not mention the total number of people arrested so far in the violence.
The report said one civilian was killed in the violence while 35 policemen were injured, 17 of them hospitalised. One of the cops suffered a bullet injury, it added.
Ahluwalia barb
Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia today blamed Mamata for the situation in the hills, saying she was behaving like a Trinamul leader and not the chief minister of Bengal.
"Mamata Banerjee is to be blamed for the violence in Darjeeling. She is behaving like a Trinamul leader and not a chief minister. The violence in Darjeeling was triggered by police action on a peaceful demonstration by the Gorkhas," Ahluwalia said.
He urged Mamata to hold talks with the Morcha to restore peace.
(Source & Courtesy: https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170621/jsp/bengal/story_157966.jsp)

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