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Gorkhaland agitation: Army called in as protests in Darjeeling turn violent

23 Juin 2017

He said resorting to violence would never help them in finding a solution and asked the people living there to remain calm and peaceful.

Banerjee said the state government is ready to initiate a dialogue with the party in a conducive environment. However, the GJM has condemned all sorts of violence in the region and said that miscreants, rather than GJM volunteers, were involved in the violence.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh said tonight that the Centre would send more forces "if required" to Darjeeling, hours after chief minister Mamata Banerjee requested the Centre not to encourage the troublemakers in the hills. The hill parties - led by the BJP ally GJM - have come together to press for a 100-year-old demand to separate Gorkhaland from the plains of West Bengal, a claim bitterly opposed by Banerjee.

The GJM which is in power in the semi-autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, is spearheading the agitation there demanding a separate state - Gorkhaland.

ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma, however, denied the allegation and said the police did not open fire.

Darjeeling: Darjeeling is bracing for another shutdown as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership has made a decision to hold a protest rally with the bodies of two persons allegedly killed during Saturday's clashes.

Meanwhile, the GJM claimed two of its supporters were killed and five critically injured in police firing.

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The angry protesters left one policeman injured and torched a police vehicle as Darjeeling continues to boil under indefinite strike for the sixth day in a row now. "The people of the hills will not stop until and unless Gorkhaland is achieved", GJM chief Bimal Gurung said in a statement from an undisclosed location. "We are trying to identify the person, but going by the preliminary investigation it seems that he is a local", he said.

Darjeeling remains on shutdown mode for the seventh consecutive day as thousands of supporters took to the streets to mark their protest against the killing of the two GJM supporters. Three people were killed allegedly in police firing during a violent agitation for a separate State of Gorkhaland on Saturday.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has been insisting on a government order to clear the air on three language controversy, which triggered protests in Nepali-speaking sub-divisions of West Bengal.

Banerjee said that the GJM has taken to violence because its term in GTA was coming to an end.

The GJM has ruled out holding talks with the state authorities, saying it will only negotiate with India's central government.

But Kavitha said one problem she sees with Indian system of considering statehood demands is that "we keep them pending for too long".

Mamata today referred to the possible involvement of insurgent groups from the Northeast and some foreign countries behind the trouble in Darjeeling. "Only a terrorist and not a common man can do this", Banerjee told reporters in the state capital Kolkata on Saturday.