Darjeeling unrest: Protestors, police clash

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has claimed that three of its supporters were killed and several persons injured when protestors had recently clashed with police in Darjeeling. Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) assistant commandant Kirang Tamang had his throat slit when he tried to prevent them from setting police vehicles on fire.

Referring to the agitation against alleged imposition of Bengali, she said it was only an optional subject and not mandatory and GJM was spreading rumours to misguide the people of the hills.

Banerjee said she is ready for talks but not under the current situation.

The GJM has claimed that two of their supporters were shot dead by police in Singmari on Saturday.

Protesters hurled petrol bombs as they clashed with police in eastern India's hill resort of Darjeeling as tensions remained high on Thursday, local officials said. "We have urged him for immediate central intervention to bring back peace there", Giri told reporters after meeting Singh.The GJM leader said they will not participate in the June 19 tripartite meeting called by the Home Ministry to discuss issues related to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and his party would talk only about a separate state.

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On Saturday, scenes across Darjeeling and nearby Ghoom resembled a battlefield with charred buses, police vehicles and scores of stones and mangled bottles strewn across the road.

On Sunday, Anuj Sharma, the director general of West Bengal police, said "at least 35 policemen were injured yesterday".

The violence began when police raided the homes and offices of members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a separatist movement. One person was killed in the violent protests that returned to Darjeeling on June 8, after a gap of a few years. "The police and the security forces should immediately be removed from the hills as a confidence-building measure", Rai said.

The GJM wants a new, separate state of "Gorkhaland" carved out of eastern West Bengal state, of which Darjeeling is a part.

Several police personnel were injured in the stoning.

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On Saturday, police and Gorkhaland supporters clashed with each other at various places in the Hills. "The police did not open fire".

Widespread protests erupted in Singamari (northern point of Darjeeling) as the women's wing of the GJM rallied with shrill sloganeering against the raid at Tamang's residence. According to police sources, the step was taken to stop the GJM activists from using social media to spread "messages and provocative posts".

Tamang claimed his house was "raided and vandalised by the police and the Trinamool Congress cadres" in the same manner as they had raided party chief Bimal Gurung's house in Darjeeling district two days ago.

The GJM supporters torched a panchayat office at Mirik, a hydroelectric supply office at Lodhama in Darjeeling and a health centre in Rimbik-Lodhama.

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