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8 Jul 2017

Army Out In Darjeeling As Protests Escalate After Two Person Shot Dead

Monideepa Banerjie | NDTV| July 08, 2017, Darjeeling: Two columns of the Army have been deployed in Darjeeling and Sonada as protests escalated this morning after a young man's body was found with a bullet wound. Locals claim the man, Tashi Bhutia, was shot dead by police around midnight in Sonada, 15 kilometres from Darjeeling. 

This morning, locals marched with the body, threw stones at the Sonada police station and police had to fire teargas to disperse crowds. Some locals claimed rubber bullets were also used.

A group of protesters also torched the Darjeeling Himayalan Railway toy train station this afternoon.

Locals claimed Tashi Bhutia was shot dead by the police when he was on his way home after picking up medicines. Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) Neeraj Zimba said, "An innocent youth has been murdered.  We are deeply pained."

Gautam Deb, minister and Trinamool Congress chief of Darjeeling district, denied any police firing. "Police are not going for any confrontation with the protesters. No question of them opening fire on a lone youth," he said from Siliguri at the foothills of Darjeeling.

Morcha chief Bimal Gurung is reported to have called an urgent meeting later today.

Darjeeling has been simmering ever since the battle between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Morcha chief Bimal Gurung began over the 'Bengali-must' policy which snowballed into a demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Last month, when protests turned violent, the army had to be called in to control the situation.
(KalimNews: Meanwhile, GJM has alleged that police has killed by firing its activist Suraj Sundas of Tungsung in Darjeeling. Another youth Samir Gurung of Ropeway Singamari is also shot dead by police at Singamari and in the fresh clash five CRPF jawans were attacked with Khukuri and seriously injured. Many  Gorkhaland supporters  are also injured during the firing made by the police, a source reported.)

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