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1 Jul 2017

Siliguri holds second march

Police stand guard as the march reaches Airview More in Siliguri on Friday
TT, Siliguri, June 30: Around 10,000 residents of Siliguri and the surrounding areas today took out a march to protest the current movement for Gorkhaland and demand restoration of peace in the hills.
The procession was peaceful, barring incidents in which a car bearing Sikkim registration number was damaged on Hill Cart road and some shops along Bidhan Road were pelted with stones.
Organised under the banner of the Forum for Peace and Unity, the march, comprising people from different walks of life, started from Baghajatin Park. They were carrying the Tricolour and several placards, which carried messages of peace and amity and an undivided Bengal.
Ahead of the march, there was a brief cultural programme.
Today's is the second procession to be organised by Siliguri residents in the past five days against the Gorkhaland demand. The first march was organised on Sunday.
"We appeal to the people of the hills to maintain peace and harmony in the region. We also condemn the attempts being made to disturb the region through violent activities. We organised the rally today with an objective to send the message that peace should prevail in the region," Soumen Nag, one of the conveners of the forum, said.
Satyajit Deb, a 70-year-old resident of Subhashpally and a former central government employee, was part of the march.
"I have never seen such spontaneous participation of common people in the city who have come together to demand peace and harmony in the region. Earlier, I had seen the movement on the same issue organised by the Gorkha National Liberation Front and a series of indefinite strikes. But people had never hit the streets then like they are doing it now," the septuagenarian said.
A large contingent of policemen accompanied the march. Niraj Kumar Singh, the commissioner of Siliguri metropolitan police, and over 100 police personnel stood guard at Airview More to lead the march towards Sevoke Road.
As the marchers reached Airview More, a section of them stopped in front of police barricades and shouted slogans. Some of them demanded that they be allowed to cross the Mahananda bridge and move till Darjeeling More, located at the northern end of the town.
However, the police did not relent and after 45 minutes, they managed to persuade the processionists to head for Sevoke Road, which was part of the proposed route.

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