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Darjeeling unrest: TMC, BJP hit the streets in Kolkata; Dilip Ghosh talks to Gurung

A day after party workers accompanying the Bengal BJP president were attacked, Trinamool and BJP leaders took potshots each other and burnt effigies.

kolkata Updated: Oct 06, 2017 21:15 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times
Bengal BJP leaders in Kolkata condemning the attack on party workers in Darjeeling. (Samir Jana/ HT PHOTO)

A day after his men were assaulted by members of the Benoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday rushed to Namchi in South Sikkim where GJM president Bimal Gurung is believed to be hiding.

Before leaving for Sikkim, Ghosh talked to Gurung over phone in the morning. “Gurung expressed his displeasure over what happened. I told him that what I have faced for the first time is being endured by GJM supporters for four months. I told him that we have to confront this anarchy as allies,” said Ghosh.

Read: Gorkhaland row: Anti-Gurung agitators rough up BJP workers in Darjeeling

Ghosh however did not reveal whether he would meet Gurung in Sikkim or not. Gurung and top GJM leaders are absconding ever since the state police slapped cases against them under the anti-terror law, UA(P)A.

Though Darjeeling police arrested two men suspected to be involved in Thursday’s incident, the BJP leadership on Friday organised rallies in Kolkata and three districts condemning the attack on BJP workers. At a few places, derogatory remarks were allegedly made against chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

BJP supporters burning an effigy of Mamata Banerjee during a rally held close to the chief minister’s residence in Kolkata on Friday. ( Samir Jana/HT PHOTO )

The rallies, coupled with Dilip Ghosh’s conversation with Gurung, drew the ire of ruling party leaders. Trinamool secretary general and education minister Partha Chatterjee said: “This is the BJP’s culture. How can Dilip Ghosh talk to someone against whom lookout notice has been issued. We have tolerated enough. Now, law will take its own course.”

Read: Gorkhaland crisis: Benoy Tamang toes Mamata Banerjee’s line as GTA chief; Bimal Gurung hits back

The Trinamool will organise demonstrations at six important road intersections in Kolkata on Saturday with effigies of Narendra Modi, ruling party leaders said. State government officials, on the other hand, said a fresh audit of the accounts of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration that Gurung headed for four years would begin after Kali puja.

In Darjeeling, tension started brewing over GJM’s 10th foundation day celebration on Saturday. District officials said they were apprehending clashes between followers of Gurung and Tamang.

Read: Darjeeling impasse: Centre ready for talks, Mamata isn’t, says Bengal BJP president

“The Tamang faction will surely try to celebrate, taking advantage of the absence of Gurung and GJM general secretary Roshan Giri. And, followers of Gurung will definitely try to stop them. This is why suspected Gurung followers dug a huge crater on the road connecting Darjeeling town to Patlaybas where the GJM headquarter is located,” said a district police officer.

In another development on Friday, Roshan Giri’s lawyer filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of 11 people in the Darjeeling hills since June this year. GJM has alleged that all these people died in police firing.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 21:15 IST