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31 Jul 2017

Eight hurt as Gorkhaland supporters, cops clash...Clash occurred after police stopped a pro-Gorkhaland rally

RAJ KUMAR KARMAKAR, SNS, Alipurduar 30 July: Jaigaon town along the Indo-Bhutan border in Alipurduar district turned into a battle field today after police stopped Gorkhaland supporters from taking ahead a rally they had organized as part of the'Global Unity March.'
Atleast eight persons including a sub-inspector of police, were injured in the incident at Gopimohan choupathi in the town.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM) took out its pre-announced rally from the Mangalbari area of Jaigaon town at around 10:30 am. The marchers, led by GIMM leaders like Rohit Thapa and Madan Lama, headed towards the main town area, but they were stopped at the Gopimohan Choupathi.
In a clash that ensued, police allegedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells on the around 3,000 unarmed Morcha supporters and baton-charged them.
The rally organising secretary of the Dooars Committee of the GJMM, Rohit Thapa, alleged that the police acted as Trinamul cadres.

"They indiscriminately opened fire on us, while also lathi¬charging us and lobbing tear gas shells. Our workers have sustained bullet injuries. The police attacking a peaceful rally is inhuman and unjustified," he said.
Mr Thapa claimed that at least seven Morcha supporters were injured in the police action and that they were admitted to the Birpara State General Hospital.
Police, however,said they never opened fire at the protesters.
"Police did not fire, but used tear gas shells and water canions to disperse the mob" said Alipurduar SP, Avaru Rabindranath.
The GJMM today organized the Global Unity March in Birpara and Kalchini towns in the district too. However, there were no reports of any violence there.
Morcha leaders blamed the police for the Jaigaon clash today. " The march was peaceful. It was the police that rained lathis on us and tried to create tension in the area first. Some Trinamul Congress leaders were in police uniform and they attacked our men today, claimed the GJMM central committee member from the Dooars, Madan Lama.
As tensions mounted throughout the day, traffic through the Indo-Bhutan an gate at Jaigaon was halted too.

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