Mamata condemns GJM violence, says ready to talk in conducive atmosphere

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On June 17 (Saturday) around 1 am, suspected Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters set fire to Goke II gram panchayat office under Bijanbari block about 25 km away from Darjeeling.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday condemned the vandalism by the GJM and alleged a "deep-rooted conspiracy". So many bombs and arms can not be gathered in a day. Finally, in 2011, after the Trinamool Congress came to power in the State, the GJM, the State government and the Centre signed a tripartite agreement for the establishment of the GTA, a regional autonomous body aimed at giving significant administrative control over the region to the elected party in the hills. "We can not tolerate this hooliganism", said Additional Director General (Law & Order) Anuj Sharma. The protestors were extremely violent and were throwing stones, bottles and even petrol bombs on security personnel.

West Bengal ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma said in Kolkata that one person was killed at Singmari and around 35 policemen were injured, 19 of them seriously.

She claimed the GJM has connections with insurgent groups in the Northeast and some foreign countries. "I spoke to her yesterday and asked her to take all measures to contain violence and restore peace in Darjeeling", Rajnath said. The supporters stormed into a police camp in Singmari and stabbed a police officer called Kiran Tamang who many had termed as dead.

A media vehicle was also set ablaze by the protesters.

Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) assistant commandant Kirang Tamang had his throat slit when he tried to prevent them from setting police vehicles on fire.

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On the other hand, the bandh is taking a toll on the tourism in the city as the hill station of Darjeeling, which is usually see brimming with tourists, witnessed a complete shutdown as GJM supporters clashed with the police.

"I will urge the people in the hills to not be misled by the GJM leadership". Official sources said that troops were patrolling in the entire hills. As both the government and the GJM were locked in a war of words, each threatening the other with dire consequences, tension in the hills started rising.

"Morcha supporters are exploiting the locational advantage and attacking the police".

Ms Banerjee backed the police's claims and said that GJM has fired and not the police.

Earlier yesterday, police recovered more than 300 weapons, including arrows and explosives in raids in premises connected with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, sparking a call by the separatist group for an indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills.

"We are shocked and stunned to inform you all that Vikram Rai - a local journalist, was arrested last night". Two of our supporters have died because of the state government.

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