Amidst the 24 hour Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) bandh in the Darjeeling hills of North Bengal, the witch-hunt continued. A Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supporter was attacked in Kurseong and another in Darjeeling town on Friday.
In Darjeeling, Puran Rai, 45, a teacher, was attacked by an armed group at Bhutia Bustee. Rai a GNLF supporter suffered major head injuries and was rushed to the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital where he had to undergo a surgery.
"We have knowledge of the incident but no FIR has been lodged yet," stated DP Singh, Superintendent of Police (SP), Darjeeling.
One GNLF supporter Prem Mukhia who had also been appointed the GNLF polling agent during the recently concluded Assembly elections was attacked by an armed mob in Upper Burbong Bustee in Kurseong today. "He has been admitted in the Kurseong sub divisional hospital," stated Nima Norbu Bhutia, Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Kurseong.
Meanwhile the GJM demanded that GNLF Chief Subash Ghising's "Z plus" category security be relinquished immediately and that he be arrested. On the occasion of the "Black flag" day on Friday protesting the fatal attack on GJM supporter Robin Rai, rallies were taken out all over the Hills.
Addressing the rally in Darjeeling, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri stated, "The present strife is owing to Subash Ghising's instructions. He has been provoking his supporters to launch attacks on the GJM. His Z plus category security should immediately be removed and he should also be arrested."
In Bengal, Pranab Mukherjee, Mamata Banerjee and Subash Ghising fall in the Z plus category bracket. The difference between Z and Z plus is that of a bulletproof vehicle which comes with the Z plus category.
On May 15, Raghubir-bustee in the Ringtong Tea Estate below Sonada was the witness of post poll clashes between the GNLF and the GJM. The clash had ensued when GJM supporters were returning back from a victory celebration. Following a scuffle between the GJM and the GNLF, one Robin Rai (29) of the GJM was hacked on the neck with a sharp weapon allegedly by GNLF supporters. Rai had been admitted in a private nursing home in Siliguri with a vein rupture. He had been put on life support systems. On Wednesday he was proclaimed dead by doctors.
Sensing trouble, GNLF Chief Subash Ghising also left the Hills on May 15 for the plains of Jalpaiguri district. He is residing in Jalpaiguri at present.
Soon after news of the death of Rai, GJM supporters went on a rampage in the Hills vandalizing and torching houses of GNLF supporters. A spontaneous bandh was observed in Kurseong town and Sonada. Late at night a Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) office was torched in Kurseong town.
The GJM called for a 24-hour bandh call on Friday. However vehicular movement, tea estates and cinchona plantations were exempted from the bandh.
Meanwhile the 4 newly elected GJM MLAs from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Kalchini (in Dooars) along with General Secretary Roshan Giri, left for Kolkata to attend the swearing in ceremony of Mamata Banerjee slated for Friday. The GJM have won all three hill seats defeating the GNLF candidates by more than a lakh vote each.