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8 Jul 2017

FIR tests 'no-firing' claim

TT, Calcutta, July 7: Police have said in a suo motu FIR that they fired two rounds in air from an Insas rifle at Ghoom in Darjeeling on June 17, contradicting their claim all along that no bullets were fired by the security personnel during the violence on that day.
Alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters had engaged in a pitched battle with security personnel at two places in Darjeeling - Singamari and Ghoom - on June 17. Three youths were killed in the clash and the Morcha has been alleging that they fell to police bullets at Singamari.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in Calcutta on the same day that the law enforcers had fired no bullets during the violence.The police, too, have been claiming that they didn't fire at all in Darjeeling on June 17.
The suo motu FIR filed by the Darjeeling police on the Ghoom incident says with a mob continuously pelting security personnel with stones, the force had to use six-rounds of non-lethal ammunitions (rubber bullets), in addition to tear gas, to disperse the violent crowd.
However, the FIR says, the mob regrouped and started attacking the police again.
"...Sri S.K. Sativa, Comdt, Adhoc OPS Darjeeling, staff officer to DIGP, Range CRPF, Siliguri arrived at the spot, reinforced us and seeing the vulnerable situation, he ordered CRPF to use fire of 06 Long range shell, 01 Rubber bullet and subsequently ordered F/No 061776132 Constable/GD Sandip Saha of F/50 BN, CRPF to open fire of 02 rounds from 5.56 mm INSAS in air," read the FIR.
A police officer said "Long range shell" meant tear gas.
Although the Morcha has claimed that the three men died from the police firing in the Singamari clash, another suo motu FIR by the law enforcers on that incident makes no such mention. The FIR, instead, suggested that Morcha supporters had used firearms at Singamari.
Asked about the FIR on the Ghoom clash, Akhilesh Chaturvedi, the superintendent of police, Darjeeling, said: "That is a separate incident."
The officer was trying to suggest that the police's claim that no bullets had been fired on June 17 was with regard to the Singamari clash.

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