Darjeeling violence: As the indefinite strike that was called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) enters into its eighth day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has left the country to visit Netherlands. Supporters hailed "Gorkhaland" and "Separate State" slogans and lit effigies of state government in many places to show their anger.
Earlier in the day, thousands of GJM protesters today took out huge rallies to observe "black day" in Darjeeling to protest the death of three its activists in police firing. The Gorkha protesters held a silent march to the centre of the popular hill town, carrying the bodies.
Stone pelters are back in the north Bengal hills after 30 years and some of the protesters have said that they were inspired by protesters in Jammu and Kashmir, Hindustan Times reported.
Infact, when asked about the current agitation in Darjeeling, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh tried distancing his party from the GJM stir. The party has claimed that three of its activist were killed yesterday. The internet was snapped in order to stop GJM activists from using social media to spread "provocative posts", police sources said.
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he has spoken to Mamata over the law and order situation in Darjeeling.
And while a section of the Morcha leadership has begun questioning alliance partner BJP's passive response to the separate statehood demand, Giri reiterated that they hope there will be some "concrete step" on the issue but informed that they have not received any assurance yet. "We are ready to give our lives but will not stop protesting till we get Gorkhaland", Sirish Pradhan, a GJM worker, said.
"I would like to appeal to everyone in the mountains to kindly maintain peace". In a democracy like India resorting to violence would never help in finding a solution, he said, emphasising that "every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue". The police rejected the allegation of firing by its personnel, and said one person was killed during the clashes.
Except medicine shops, all others shops and hotels were closed in the hills.