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1 Jun 2017

Police, administration to take every step to maintain peace in Hills

Police, administration to take every step to maintain peace in HillsAmitava Banerjee, 31 May 2017, Darjeeling :The Darjeeling district administration and police on Wednesday claimed that a group of people are spreading misinformation and rumours in an effort to disrupt peace, tranquility and communal harmony in the Hills. The district administration and police have vowed stringent action against any such attempts.

Incidentally, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has lined up agitation programmes including a 2 day bandh of educational institutions from June 1 along with protest marches throughout the Hills from June 4-8. The party is protesting against alleged imposition of Bengali language in the Hills.

The Darjeeling District Magistrate stated that fear is being stoked up regarding Bengali being imposed in the Hills and Bengali replacing Nepali language. "I on behalf of the state government would like to clarify that there is no intention to impose any language on the people in the Hill areas. There is no intention and no plans to replace Nepali with any other language. There is no notification or circular from the state government to this effect. Whatever is being spread are baseless rumours" alleged Joyoshi Dasgupta, DM, Darjeeling.

Reacting to the bandh call in educational institutions in the Hills on June 1 and 2, Amit P Javalgi, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling stated education institutions are the worst affected in the Hills owing to strikes. "Even the student enrollment has gone down drastically affecting the image of Darjeeling as an education hub" stated the SP.

He stated that a group of people including teachers are forcing school children to take part in political rallies acting against a Calcutta High Court directive. "Why use students as shields to further their own political interests?" questioned Javalgi.

The District Inspector of Schools, Darjeeling, has also issued directives to all schools not to allow students to attend political rallies.

The SP further stated that the social media is being used by a group of people to spread hatred against a particular community. "There is room for democratic protest. There is space for freedom of expression but there is no scope for lawlessness, hatred and communal disharmony. Darjeeling is a cosmopolitan place. People from all walks of life, community and religion visit Darjeeling as tourists. It is our interest to ensure peace and to see that all are respected. We will not allow anyone to spread communal disharmony, hatred and lawlessness," stated Javalgi.

He stated that the police and administration are keeping a close watch on the social networking sites and action will be taken against any person spreading communal disharmony and hatred through social media. Regarding the GJM's protest marches during the CM's visit to the Hills and the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on June 8 at Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling, Javalgi stated "Whatever events take place, the police will ensure peace and security in Darjeeling. We will also ensure that tourists are not affected in any way."

Meanwhile the GTA Sabha met in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Among other issues discussed, the GTA Sabha discussed that all signage in Darjeeling specially of business establishments and shops will have to be in Nepali. "Otherwise the Municipality will not renew the trade licenses of these shops" declared Roshan Giri, GTA member.

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