Fresh clashes in Kalimpong after Gurung’s threat

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Darjeeling, Sep 15 (IANS) A day after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung called for intensifying the over three month-long agitation in northern West Bengal, fresh clashes broke out between the party cadres and police in Kalimpong on Friday.

As many as 15 GJM cadres including a councillor, Bimala Chhetry, were detained in Kalimpong, said IG Darjeeling Manoj Verma.

Pro-shutdown GJM cadres attacked police at Kalimpong motor stand with bricks prompting police to baton charge and lob tear gas shells to control the situation.

At least six persons police personnel and and picketers were injured.

A school bus ferrying students was also attacked near Tista Bazar along National Highway 10. The students were on the way to a hospital from their hostel for routine check up.

Gurung on Thursday had warned if tripartite talks on Gorkhaland were not held immediately, the situation in the Darjeeling hills would further worsen.

“Tripartite talks have to be held as soon as possible, else the situation in the hills will deteriorate and the state government would be responsible for it,” Gurung said in an audio message from an undisclosed location.

Urging the pro-shutdown activists to further intensify the “picketing” from Friday, Gurung said the government would have to take responsibility if any untoward takes place in the hills.

Gurung’s comments came two days after the second phase of the government sponsored all-party meeting in Jalpaiguri, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agreed on a few points with the hill parties but refused to commit, stating legal issues.

–IANS

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