Darjeeling/Kolkata: The GJM on Thursday said it
will not sit for talks unless Gorkhaland issue is discussed
and ruled out an interim council for Darjeeling even as the
situation in the hills remained largely peaceful on the second
day of the party`s indefinite bandh to protest Tuesday`s
police firing on its supporters.
In a reaction to yesterday`s appeal by Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to sit for negotiations, GJM general
secretary Roshan Giri said Gorkhaland was the common
aspiration of people in the Darjeeling hills and therefore the
talks should centre only around that demand.
The state government, on the other hand, said it would
participate in fresh tripartite talks if they were called.
West Bengal Home Secretary G D Gautama told reporters
in Kolkata that the state government was prepared for talks
and was not considering a CBI investigation into last
Tuesday`s police firing at Sipchu in Jalpaiguri district in
which two alleged GJM supporters were killed.
"A magistrate-level inquiry into the police firing is
on. The report will be submitted to the state government and
there is no need to order a CBI or CID investigation now," he
Giri reiterated the demand for a CBI inquiry to
establish the motive for the police firing and dismissed
Bhattacharjee`s allegation of starting the violence, claiming
they were only conducting the movement in a Gandhian way.
Special IGP (Darjeeling) N Ramesh Babu told PTI that
FIRs had been filed against senior GJM leaders - Harkabhadur
Chetri, Kalyan Dewan, Binay Tamang (assistant secretary of
GJM), Norden Lama and others for instigating mob violence.
On the second day of the GJM`s indefinite bandh called
to protest against the firing at Sipchu, normal life was
paralysed in Darjeeling but no untoward incident was reported.
Shops, business establishments, schools and
educational institutions were closed, vehicles were off roads
and government offices recorded no attendance, official
Shop-owners downed shutters and the area looked like
any bandh day, Darjeeling District Magistrate PMK Gandhi said.
However, in trouble-torn Jalpaiguri district, GJM
supporters set ablaze a truck at Madarihat prompting a team of
policemen to rush there, but nobody was arrested.
The BSF personnel conducted flag marches at Kalimpong
sub-division, the DM said adding the sub-divisional officers
had been asked to prepare a report of the loss of public
property in the GJM violence after the Sipchu police firing.
In an apparent backlash to Tuesday`s violence, local
people at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri damaged a car belonging to
the convoy of GJM activists who carried the body of a
supporter killed in the firing to his home in Rangamati.
Police said the people raised anti-Gorkhaland slogans.
Darjeeling SP D P Singh said the situation was fast
returning to normal in the Hills.