Army back in Darjeeling after 2 deaths

first_imgViolence erupted again in the Darjeeling hills on Saturday after two persons were killed, allegedly in firing by police and security forces. The Army was redeployed to control the situation, which turned volatile as pro-Gorkhaland supporters clashed with the police in Darjeeling town and adjoining areas. Tension gripped the hills after the death of Tashi Bhutia, a Gorkha National Liberation Front supporter, at Sonada. GNLF spokespers- on Neeraj Zimba said Bhutia was shot dead by security forces on Friday night. The police, however, said they did not have any report of firing. “We don’t have any report of police firing as of now. We are looking into the incident. We can give you details later,” a police officer said. Clashes erupted as the procession carrying Bhutia’s body turned violent and protesters attacked a police outpost at Sonada. A pitched battle ensued between the protesters and police. The protesters also set ablaze the Sonada station of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The violence soon spread to Darjeeling town with clashes at Chowk Bazar. Police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the mob, which allegedly tried to attack the office of Deputy Superintendent of Police. A second youth later succumbed to bullet injuries sustained during the violence. He is yet to be identified but is thought to be a resident of Singhamari. Clashes were also reported from Kalimpong where protesters set on fire property of the State Forest Department.Two columns of the Army, one at Sonada and the other in Darjeeling town, were deployed to control the situation. “One accident has happened at Sonada. This is because they attacked the police.. We will have to look into who is responsible,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the State Secretariat. Urging pro-Gorkhaland supporters to shun violence, Ms. Banerjee said she was ready to hold meetings with political parties in the hills in the next 10-15 days. “I am asking the administration and the people to exercise restraint,” she said.She asked protesters to allow the government to send food and other supplies to the hills.last_img

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