Gorkhaland agitators strike Sukna, near Siliguri; 4 injured, 2 arrested
The Gorkhaland stir entered its 45th day on Saturday, making it the longest strike observed in support of the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.Updated: Jul 29, 2017 21:37 IST
Gorkhaland agitators sprung a surprise on authorities when they clashed with police, not in Darjeeling hills, but down at Sukna, close to Siliguri town on Saturday after days of lull.
One GJM supporter and three policemen were injured near Rongtong Bridge, about 12 km from Siliguri, after police stopped GJM supporters from holding a rally with khukris, the traditional Gorkha knife, on Saturday.
Nitin Chettri, a GJM leader, claimed that Ajay Chettri (30), who had come from Garidhura, about 20 km to the north of Siliguri, sustained severe injury when a teargas shell hit him on the head and that he was taken to the hospital.
Angry GJM supporters pelted stones at the police and damaged several vehicles as police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob.
Two GJM supporters were arrested for attacking the police. The arrests triggered more violence from the mob which blocked the road and set tyres on fire.
In the evening, district magistrate Joyoshi Dasgupta said tension is still prevailing. “The injured GJM supporter is undergoing treatment.”
Senior IPS officers were camping at the site although the GJM supporters dispersed after 6 pm.
Meanwhile, the bandh called by 15 political parties and organisations based in the hills entered its 45th day on Saturday, making it the longest strike observed in support of the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.
The longest stir before this, held by the Gorkha National Liberation Front in 1988, lasted 40 days. Though GJM observed bandh for 44 days in 2013, it was not continuous and was suspended a few times in between.