New Delhi: Indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling entered into seventh day on Sunday.
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee condemned the vandalism unleashed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morch.
She alleged deep-rooted conspiracy and "links with terrorists" as violence took centre-stage in the north West Bengal hills amid the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown.
On Saturday, the prolonged protest in Darjeeling escalated further and fresh clashes erupted after a police officer was stabbed to death by protesters after son of a lawmaker was arrested by cops and a senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader’s house was allegedly vandalised on Friday night.
In the clashes, both security personnel and protesters were injured. Also, a police vehicle was torched by the protesters.
The police sources said that prohibitory orders were in force in the entire area and no one was allowed to take out processions.
Condemning the protests by GJM workers, Mamata on Saturday said, “They aren't listening to the Court also, it passed order saying bandh is illegal. Don't know from where they get support”.
She added, “5 years you enjoyed, now when elections are coming you start violence because you have lost credentials”.
Mamata further said that she was ready for a dialogue and said, “Where did they get illegal arms & money from? Ready to talk to them, we cannot support violation of the Constitution”.
GJM supporters violated the orders and took a procession. When police stopped them, they hurled stones and bottles. Police fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse the crowd.
On Thursday, protesters and paramilitary forces battled with stones in this fog-shrouded town after police raided premises linked to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and claimed to have recovered hundreds of weapons.
On the other hand, the bandh is taking a toll on the tourism in the city as the hill station of Darjeeling, which is usually see brimming with tourists, witnessed a complete shutdown as GJM supporters clashed with the police.
Shops, eateries and markets have been closed in the state, largely affecting tourism.