Kolkata: West Bengal suffered an estimated
loss of Rs three crore when several forest bungalows, five of them in Kalimpong sub-division, were either reduced to ashes
or badly damaged during yesterday`s violence by GJM activists in the Darjeeling hills and Dooars.
"The loss on account of the burning of bungalows and
damage to them has been primarily estimated at Rs three
crore," West Bengal`s Forest Minister Ananta Roy said.
Roy said even residences of forest department employees
were not spared by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists.
The minister said he would submit a report to Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee detailing the quantum of loss
to the Forest Department due to the violence and arson in
Darjeeling hills as well as in the Dooars region.
"The chief minister will decide on plans to restore and
rebuild the pictureque forest bungalows which attract tourists
from different parts of the country," he said.
The state`s backward classes department minister, Jogesh
Chandra Burman, who held the forest portfolio earlier, said
the GJM had caused a massive loss to national property which
he described as `shocking`.
GJM, he alleged, was only following the path of violence
shown by GNLF chief Subhas Ghising years back in spearheading
the movement for .
The minister defended the police firing yesterday that
left two dead in the hills, saying, "The police was first
attacked and they opened fire only in self-defence".