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

On the second day of his tour of the Darjeeling hills, Dilip Ghosh faced the ire of Benoy Tamang supporters who roughed up his associates in the crowded Chowk Bazar area.
A BJP worker (wearing saffron scarf) being assaulted by supporters of Benoy Tamang in Darjeeling on Thursday.(Bikram Sashanker/ HT Photo)
A BJP worker (wearing saffron scarf) being assaulted by supporters of Benoy Tamang in Darjeeling on Thursday.(Bikram Sashanker/ HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 05, 2017 09:01 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Siliguri

Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh got a taste of the ground reality in Darjeeling on Thursday when people from the Benoy Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) roughed up BJP workers accompanying Ghosh minutes after forcing him to cancel a public meeting.

The incidents took place between 3.15 and 4 pm in the heart of Darjeeling town. BJP president Amit Shah later called up Ghosh and inquired about the attack.

It was an embarrassing moment for the BJP as footages of the attack were aired by TV channels. BJP workers accompanying Ghosh and state BJP leader Joyprakash Mazumdar were punched and kicked in front of the media. A couple of men were beaten up with sticks and umbrellas as well.

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

The agitators were heard shouting “Long live Benoy Tamang” and “BJP go back.” Ghosh and Mazumdar watched helplessly as their men took the blows. A bearded man sporting saffron scarf was thrown against glass containers in a sweetmeat shop. The containers were shattered. Interestingly, the attackers did not touch Ghosh and Majumdar.

“Trinamool Congress and Tamang’s men carried out the assault. First they created a ruckus inside the community hall, forcing us to cancel the meeting. After we left the hall they attacked us on the street. The police were conspicuous by their absence. One can see that peace hasn’t returned to the hills,” said Ghosh after lodging a complaint at the Darjeeling Sadar police station.

“The entire episode was scripted in Kolkata,” alleged Ghosh, pointing a finger at the Mamata Banerjee government which is backing Benoy Tamang in a bid to corner GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

Gurung called off the 104-day-long bandh after Union minister Rajnath Singh appealed to him on September 26 and asked the Union home secretary to convene a meeting. Having supported the BJP in two consecutive Lok Sabha polls, the GJM has been depending on the NDA Government on the statehood issue ever since the movement began in June this year. The BJP, however, has so far remained silent on the demand for creation of Gorkhaland.

Read: Darjeeling settles down post GJM bandh, but Bengal’s hunt for Gurung could disturb peace

Superintendent of police A K Chaturvedi said policemen were posted outside the hall where the meeting was organised and also at the circuit house where Ghosh was staying. “The scuffling took place on the streets. We have registered an FIR and will arrest the culprits,” he said.

“We are not justifying the violence and Trinamool Congress was not involved in it. Dilip Ghosh did not visit the hills when people were suffering and now that peace has returned, he is making provocative speeches. The BJP is trying to fish in troubled waters and people unleashed their anger,” said state tourism minister and district Trinamool president Gautam Deb.

Read : GJM calls off 104-day Darjeeling strike after Rajnath calls meet on Gorkhaland

Trinamool secretary general and education minister Partha Chatterjee said Ghosh had been paid back in his own coin. “Dilip Ghosh said that he would teach us a lesson. See for yourself who taught him a lesson today. Anti-social elements who accompanied Ghosh were responsible for the chaos.”

After arriving in the hills on Wednesday, Ghosh said had chief minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to sit for talks, the NDA Government would have ended the impasse in Darjeeling hills long ago.

“The chief minister is keen to project the agitators as anti-nationals. Or else why would she slap cases under anti-terror law against them after a couple of explosions? Bombs go off every day in all parts of Bengal but anti-terror law is not applied anywhere,” Ghosh alleged at the beginning of his three-day tour.

Interestingly, he did not name the GJM and Bimal Gurung who, along with top leaders of the party, have been booked under sections of the anti-terror law, UA(P)A by the state police.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Freshly harvested cherries being packed into boxes at an orchard in Ganderbal’s Kangan. (Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times)

    Fruit growers in Kashmir look forward to compensate losses

    The areas which received the heavy hailstorm earlier this month is known for its cherry harvest. “I usually sell 30 to 40 boxes every day to the locals but in coming days, when all varieties will be available in market, my sales will further pick up along with good rates,” he added. Growers say though bulk of stone fruits is dispatched outside the UT, local sales too have a good potential to compensate losses.

  • National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah addresses a party meeting in Jammu on Friday. (PTI)

    Increased tourists footfall, flights to Kashmir can’t be called normalcy: Omar

    National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Friday said that the Modi government has failed to restore peace in Kashmir and the increased tourist footfall and multiple flights to the Valley cannot be called signs of normalcy. Addressing mediapersons at the party headquarters here, he said, “No one is feeling secure amid targeted killings. The state of fear is such that Pandit employees are ready to quit their jobs and run away from Kashmir.”

  • Kangra SP Khushal Chand Sharma said a departmental action has been initiated against the cops who were accompanying Prince Kapoor, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir. (Image for representational purpose)

    Undertrial escapes Kangra police custody

    An undertrial lodged in Dharamshala district jail on armed robbery charges fled from Kangra police custody while he along with other prisoners being transported back to the prison after being produced in a court in Pathankot of Punjab. The incident took place on Thursday. Kangra SP Khushal Chand Sharma said a departmental action has been initiated against the cops who were accompanying a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, Prince Kapoor.

  • Police said the woman also allegedly wrote that her husband should not be appointed as a government teacher in Delhi as such a person would destroy the future of students.

    Woman harassed by husband, in-laws for dowry hangs self

    Within three months of her marriage, a 24-year-old woman hanged herself at her parents' home in Palam Vihar extension on Thursday evening alleging that her husband and her in-laws harassed her for dowry, said the police on Friday. The incident came to the fore when the woman's younger sister returned from college and found her hanging from the ceiling fan of a room on the first floor.

  • The army said the operation was still underway and security personnel were looking for possibility of presence of more infiltrators in Tangdhar area. (Image for representational purpose only)

    Infiltration bid foiled in J&K’s Tangdhar

    Security forces thwarted an infiltration attempt in north Kashmir's Tangdhar sector on Friday morning by killing an unidentified infiltrator. Last week, three militants were killed in north Kashmir's Bandipore forests. Police had said that the militants including a local, who had recently sneaked back into Valley. Compared to previous years, there have been lesser incidents of reported infiltration attempts made in north Kashmir this year despite less snowfall during winters on the traditional infiltration routes.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 21, 2022