GJM supporters clash with police at Jaigaon in West Bengal's Alipurduar district. Photograph: (WION)
Several people were injured as clashes broke out between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland and police in West Bengal's Jaigaon on Sunday.
Clashes erupted after police confronted a rally at Jaigaon in Alipurduar, a neighbouring district of Darjeeling. GJM supporters allegedly retaliated by pelting stones and hurling petrol bombs at the police who retaliated by firing tear gas shells. Police also used water cannons to disperse agitating supporters.
Several Morcha supporters and policemen have been injured in the incident and situation continues to be on the boil. A huge contingent of police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed on the spot.
District Magistrate warns striking Yuva Morcha members as their health deteriorates
Members of the Yuva Morcha continued their hunger strike for the tenth day today.
The health of four members of the GJM's youth wing, who have been on an indefinite strike for a separate state, deteriorated.
The district magistrate Joyoshi Das Gupta was quoted as saying by DNA that they would be taken to hospital and would be charged with attempt to suicide if they refused.
“I visited them and said they would need to be taken to the hospital. If they refuse, they will be charged with attempt to suicide. Others who block their admittance to hospital will be booked for attempt to murder,” she said.
A dozen of the Yuva Morcha members have been on a hunger strike at four places in the hills – Darjeeling, Mirik, Kurseong and Kalimpong.
The state's ruling Trinamool Congress took out an anti-GJM rally in Sukna, close to Siliguri.
Normal life in Darjeeling remained crippled on the 46th day of the indefinite strike to press for a separate Gorkhaland state.
Barring medicine shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges in the district remained closed.
The situation in Darjeeling remained tense today.
Police and security forces patrolled the hills, keeping a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Siliguri tomorrow for a meeting before moving to Dinajpur.
More unrest is expected in the hills tomorrow.
The GJM and the other hill parties held an "Anna Dan" (rice donation) rally during the day as a mark of protest against vehicles, carrying food supplies to the hills, being set ablaze in Siliguri.
GJM supporters also took out rallies and carried black flags in the Chowkbazar area of the hills to protest the police action on pro-Gorkhaland supporters.
The protesters, who were shouting slogans against the state government, demanded the federal government's intervention in the matter.
On Saturday, the GJM claimed that one of its supporters suffered a bullet injury in clashes between police and pro-Gorkhaland supporters in the hills' Sukna area.
The ADG (Law and Order) denied the charges as "completely baseless".
Several protesters and police personnel were injured in the clashes that took place in Sukna yesterday.
In a statement on Saturday, GJM chief Bimal Gurung gave the government a 10-day ultimatum within which to find a solution to the stalemate failing which he warned the movement will intensify further.