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9 Jul 2017

Darjeeling on the boil again after man dies in alleged CRPF firing

MP |  8 July 2017 11:38 PM |  Darjeeling: Army was deployed in Darjeeling Hills on Saturday with sporadic violence and arson over the death of a person in Sonada. The GJM claimed that three others have died in alleged police firing in Darjeeling town. The world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway station at Sonada was also torched. 
Trouble started with the death of one Tashi Bhutia allegedly in CRPF firing on Friday night at Sonada, 16 km from Darjeeling town. Bhutia's family members claimed that Tashi had gone out to get medicine at around 11 pm in Sonada when he was shot by the CRPF.

At around 10.30 pm, a rally accompanying the dead body clashed with security forces. Police burst tear gas shells and resorted to baton charge. Angry mobs vandalised the police station and the police barracks. 
A large police contingent arrived from Darjeeling led by ADG Javed Shamim and Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi. However, the mob continued torching the waiting room and office of the DHR station at Sonada. A traffic police kiosk was also torched.

As Tashi's dead body reached Darjeeling, unrest broke out in the Hill town. 
The DSP office along with Food and Supply office at Chowk Bazar were vanadlised. The office and residence of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) located at Kakjhora was vandalised and torched too. 
The Forest Range Office along with Forest department vehicles were torched in Gorubathan in the Kalimpong district later during the day. At around 4.30 pm, the Army was called in. 
"We have called in the Army," stated Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Magistrate, Darjeeling.
 "The state government has unleashed a reign of terror in the Hills. Along with Bhutia and Sundas, two others have been killed in police firing. They are Asha Kumar and Sameer Subba. Many others are injured too," claimed Binay Tamang, Assistant Secretary, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM.) 
Reacting to the CM's appeals for peace and talks, Tamang stated: "As far as Mamata Banrjee's call for dialogues, we the GJM party will not sit for talks with Mamata Banerjee. Talks with the CM and West Bengal government is closed forever. If Centre calls for talks for Gorkhaland, we will attend," stated Tamang. 
GJM President Bimal Gurung has demanded CBI inquiry into the alleged police shootings. Incidentally, the Army in recent times was first deployed exactly a month ago on June 8. 
On June 8, the West Bengal Cabinet had held a meeting in Darjeeling amidst protests by GJM supporters. The police had clashed with the GJM leading to situation turning highly volatile. 
Finally the Army was deployed. The Army was again withdrawn on June 29.

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