Darjeeling: 2 dead in police firing, Army deployed

Two people were killed when police fired to stop GJM activists from taking out a march in Jalpaiguri.

Updated: Feb 09, 2011, 11:36 AM IST

Jalpaiguri/Darjeeling: The Army was being deployed in violence-hit areas of Darjeeling district after two people were killed on Tuesday when the police opened fire to stop Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters from taking out a march in adjacent Jalpaiguri district defying prohibitory orders, sparking arson by GJM workers who torched government vehicles and offices.

From Tuesday night, the Army is undertaking flag marches in all the affected areas of Darjeeling district, including Kalimpong sub-division, Additional District Magistrate (Darjeeling) Rajat Kumar Shaini said.

He said the administration is also considering imposing curfew in the violence-affected affected areas.

Meanwhile, a GJM-supported MLA from Jalpaiguri district was arrested for allegedly trying to instigate the violence.

Kalchini MLA Wilson Champamari was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate (Jalpaiguri) Sujoy Sengupta who sent him to 14-day police custody, officials said.

He has been charged with obstructing government officials in completing their duty and attempting to instigating violence in the area.

However, an Army officer of the rank of Major-General, who requested anonymity, said no requisition has been received for Army deployment in Darjeeling Hills.

Clashes broke out at Shipchu inside a reserve forest in Jalpaiguri district when the police dismantled illegal temporary camps set up by GJM activists, IG (North Bengal) Ranbir Kumar said.

Soon after the police action, GJM supporters tried to march towards the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district where prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC were in force.

When baton charge and lobbing of tear gas shells failed to control the situation, the police fired seven rounds in which two persons were killed, ADG (law and order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said in Kolkata.

The Police and CRPF dismantled 25 temporary camps in the forests, Kumar said.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said an indefinite bandh has been called in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee spoke to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram apprising him of the incidents as the Centre assured the state government that it will provide additional security forces to deal with the violence.

Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said in New Delhi that the Centre has already sent 300 paramilitary personnel and 100 women security guards to assist the state police forces to tackle the situation in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.