Mamata Banerjee leaves for The Netherlands even as Darjeeling stir continues

Arson in Kalimpong GJM marches with victims’ bodies

Arson in Kalimpong GJM marches with victims’ bodies

Sources said the crowd that marched up and down Chowkbazar waving the Indian Tricolour and black flags comprised at least 20,000 men and women. However the government has denied any police firing on Saturday. One of two security personnel stabbed in their backs was initially thought to have died, but chief minister Mamata Banerjee later said he was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.

The disquiet in Darjeeling hills of West Bengal - the epicentre of a violent separate statehood protests - refuses to subside as the indefinite agitation enters its second week. They shouted slogans in support of Gorkhaland and demanded that the police and security personnel be "removed immediately" from Darjeeling.

The former GJM MLA, who formed his own political outfit past year, said that they would urge the BJP to support the demand of separate Gorkhaland through a political resolution and put pressure on S.S. Ahluwalia, the BJP MP from Darjeeling, to either table the "Gorkhaland bill" in Parliament or resign.

Protesters today blocked the national highway 31A at some places in Darjeeling district to protest the death of three GJM activists on Saturday. "Now we demand Gorkhaland", he said.

"All parties concerned and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in an amicable environment", the home minister said. In a report by ANI, she said, "Ministers were monitoring the situation in violence-hit Darjeeling".

"We appeal to everybody to maintain harmony", Ms. Banerjee said.

"I appeal to the people living in Darjeeling and nearby areas to remain calm and peaceful".

The strike was called even after the Chief Minister assured that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts.

The GJM, which now helms the movement for Gorkhaland, said at the previous meeting it wants to bring to the fore representatives of smaller Gorkha outfits to lead the movement. The police, who have been on high alert after yesterday's violence and arson, conducted route marches with the Army in several parts of the hills.

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