GJM demands CBI probe into north Bengal violence

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Darjeeling, July 2 (IANS) The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), spearheading a movement for a separate Gorkhaland state in West Bengal’s northern hills, on Sunday demanded a CBI probe into the violence in the Darjeeling hills and Siliguri.

The GJM has blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress and the anti-Gorkhaland forces for the trouble. It also sought the central government’s intervention against the “draconian governance” of the Mamata Banerjee regime.

Even as sporadic violence continued in the hills, with a car set on fire in Kurseong, the GJM came out with a media statement condemning the ongoing incidents in Darjeeling hills, Siliguri and its adjoining areas.

“The GJM demands an enquiry into the arson, police atrocities, breach of communal harmony in the plains in the last three weeks including police firing on June 17 which led to the death of three of our Gorkha brothers and left 33 injured,” GJM Assistant General Secretary Binoy Tamang said in the statement.

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“We demand immediate intervention of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in these matters as well as the central government’s intervention to stop the draconian governance of the Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government,” Tamang said.

The GJM claimed that ‘anti-Gorkhaland forces and the Trinamool government sponsored elements’ have come together in the hills for fomenting the violence to ‘defame the GJM party and its leadership’.

It charged these forces with inciting communal hatred and creating a division between the hills and the plains.

“Anti Gorkhaland forces and Trinamool government sponsored elements have also been actively inciting the people of Siliguri, Odlabari, Malbazar, Meteli and parts of Dooars in communal hatred and division between hills and the plains.”

Claiming that it had believed in a democratic form of agitation for Gorkhaland since its inception, the GJM said it found it intriguing “that these arsons and attacks on government offices and properties are taking place in the presence of a large number of West Bengal Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel”.

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“We doubt that the people who are doing this are hand in glove with the West Bengal government to defame the GJM,” Tamang said.

The GJM also condemned the harassment faced by the people of Sikkim in Siliguri and the vandalisaiton of Sikkimese vehicles.

“Sikkim and Darjeeling have always shared a cordial and warm relationship. Sikkim coming forward in support of Gorkhaland is an example of it.

“India being a democracy, everyone has the right to voice out their opinion, that does not mean that Sikkimese vehicles should be vandalised and Sikkimese people harassed in broad daylight in Siliguri for the support that they have extended to the Gorkhaland movement,” the statement said.

The GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in the hills to press for Gorkhaland state entered its 18th day on Sunday, with normal life continuing to be severely hit. Shops, markets have remained closed, with vehicles mostly keeping off the roads.

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