The hills in West Bengal are once again suffering the aftereffects of the clashes that broke out between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters and the Kolkata Police.
At 5 am in the morning on 13 Oct, the violence broke out when the police search party raided a hideout inside the forest near the Patlebas area. According to the police, they had got information from their sources that the GJM Chief, Bimal Gurung, was hiding out in the forest near Patlebas area, which was considered a stronghold of Gurung.
In the mission to find the GJM Chief, the police conducted raids in the region, during which Gurung’s supporters pelted stones and fired at the police. During the clashes, several policemen, including a sub-inspector were injured and 2 are reported to be dead.
Bimal Gurung, who had been leading the protest on the hills from past few months, holding strikes and an indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling, demanding a separate statehood for the Gorkhas, has been on the search list of the police for quite some time. In August, cases under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were registered against him for his alleged involvement in various bomb blasts in Darjeeling and adjoining areas, since then, Bimal has been absconding.
The hills were also demonstrating protest demanding for Gorkhaland, which had more than once turned violent and caused lots of damage to the property and life. The indefinite shutdown had also affected the lives of the people as all the business, offices, shops schools were closed. The schools were affected the most, they even had to shift their students, most of them who were boarders had to be shifted to safer places on the grounds.
On 27 Sep, hours after the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to them to call off the strike and invited them for talks to find an amicable solution regarding the demand of Gorkhaland, the GJM Chief had announced the withdrawal of its indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling, 105 days after the shutdown began.