Darjeeling Statehood Movement Taking Ethnic Turn?
Filed Under: Opinion, Politics | Posted: 06/12/2008 at 7:29PM
Comments | Region: India
The North Bengal Bandh call given by, ‘Amra Bangali’, a communal outfit, against attack on Bengali tourists by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in doors on11th June, started taking an ethnic turn in the morning of 12th June’08, the third day of statehood movement, as Nepalese and anti-Gorkhaland Bengalis fought with stones across Mahananda river where a Nepali settlement at Bhanunagar was attacked by ‘Amra Bangali’ supporters.
Police also had to burst 30 tear gas shells to drive away the mobs at Siliguri, Pradhannagar and Bhaktinagar Police station areas of the city. Prohibitory orders were clamped and at noon, Paramilitary forces staged flag marches in these areas. The Army has been asked to remain prepared for any eventuality.
However, mobs protesting Morcha’s Bandh stopped trucks carrying essential commodities to the hills. Urban Development and Hill affairs minister who happens to be from Siliguri, appealed for calm and unity declared, ”I would personally ensure that essentials reach the hills”.
On the part of GJM, Bimal Gurung, theMorcha president, indicated a softening of stand saying that Schools would be allowed to function when the indefinite strike resumes on Saturday and that he is ready to join the all party meeting to be called by the chief minister. He also briefed that he has written to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and the Union home minister requesting them for a tripartite meeting.