Rajnath appeals for calm in Darjeeling

The state government, meanwhile, held a meeting today with chairmen and vice-chairmen of 15 development boards working in the hills, which have already constituted a committee to appeal to the people to maintain peace. So many bombs and arms can not be gathered in a day. They have also learnt how to use the catapult very effectively. I wonder what is the source of their power. I request them again not to continue agitating behind a veil of false allegations. “There should be an end to it”. “They (GJM) have evacuated foreign tourists from the hotels forcefully”, she said adding that the activists were not obeying the Calcutta High Court order that the bandh is illegal.The BJP and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is driving the protests in the hills, are allies. “We are Indians and we hope that the Centre will take action to resolve the crisis in the hills”, Alley said.Security analysts are drawing a distinction between the ways in which the Centre has approached the unrests in Kashmir and Darjeeling.Puffs of white smoke rose above Darjeeling’s streets Saturday as dozens of riot police clashed with angry crowds shouting slogans demanding the creation of a new Indian state, prompting authorities to deploy the army.”It is unfortunate. We hope to resist the vandalism in the hills with the people”, Darjeeling district Trinamool president Goutam Deb, who is also the tourism minister of the state, told the media. “These have been gathered for a long time”, she said. “During GTA, the state government had promised that these youths would be absorbed in the state police force but nothing of the sort happened”. The police said they had received information on only one death. “Now the fight will not stop until and unless our demand for Gorkhaland is fulfilled”.For the second successive time this week miscreants struck at the dead of the night to vandalise and ablaze government properties around Darjeeling as the demand for a separate state continued to roil the hill station.The GJM announced an indefinite general strike from Monday in the hills encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas covering stretches of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district) protesting against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools. “They had opened fire”. Insurgent groups from the Northeast and some other countries are involved.They say they used tear gas and baton charges after protesters torched cars and attacked the security forces with knives.According to some officials, the manner in which the Morcha leaders are intensifying their agitation and resorting to violence might require central intervention. First, by urging the Morcha to enter into talks. Banerjee had offered to hold talks if the GJM called off the protest.Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary, said: “The BJP could play the role of a mediator between the Morcha and the state government if the state wants”.