GJM seeks NHRC intervention into ‘misuse of power’ amid Darjeeling shutdown

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Darjeeling, July 8 (IANS) The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday sought the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) citing the “shocking instances” of human rights violation and “misuse of power” by the West Bengal government and police amid the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in the north Bengal hills.

The Central Committee of the GJM in its letter to the NHRC accused the police of stopping critical items like medicines and baby food to the violence-hit hills “for the sole purpose of troubling the people in the hills”.

“There have been several reports of Sikkimese vehicles also being targeted by crowds,” the GJM said.

“Such action on the part of the administration and police authorities is a total violation of human rights. The West Bengal police are misusing the powers vested in them to put the lives of people in Darjeeling hills at risk. We would therefore, seek your intervention at the earliest to direct the state administration that they should desist from such actions,” the GJM said in its letter to the NHRC.

“Additionally, we would seek your intervention and request you to send a team to Darjeeling to institute a proper inquiry into the matter,” the party said.

The GJM alleged that babies and small children are being “deprived” of essential baby food due to the “action of the state administration and the police”.

It also said patients of various government as well as private hospitals in Darjeeling are not getting access to medicines.

The party emphasised that emergency services as well as essential items including cooking gas, water supply vehicles, food grains and other essential food materials have been exempted from the shutdown, that began on June 17.

“However, the state government is making full efforts to render the shutdown unsuccessful and in the process it is being alleged that the state administration is wanting to cut off essential supplies to the hills,” the party said in the statement.

“It has come to our notice that since the last two or three days, the Bengal police has set up checkpoints on all roads leading to Darjeeling. On the pretext of checking, the police and administration are off-loading any food material that is being carried by the vehicles going up the Darjeeling hills,” it added.

–IANS

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