The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday deployed an additional 600 paramilitary personnel to Darjeeling to assist the administration in restoring normalcy to the violence-hit town, reported PTI. The government also sought a detailed report from the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government on the situation prevailing in Darjeeling.
Around 400 personnel, already stationed in West Bengal, have also been deployed to Darjeeling. The home ministry said in a statement that it is closely monitoring the situation in the hill district and is ready to offer all assistance to the state government.
The agitation by supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling turned violent on Tuesday, the second day of their indefinite bandh. The protesters pelted stones and clashed with the police who were trying to stop them from enforcing a shutdown in government offices. “After we chased them, they ran away,” a senior police official told the news agency.
Violence erupted when GJM supporters took out a rally to demand a separate Gorkhaland. They marched to government offices in Chowkbazar area and tried to stop people from reporting for work. The police also put up barricades in front of the government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration offices.
The GJM agitation started on June 7 as a protest against the Mamata Banerjee government’s decision to make Bengali a compulsory language in state-run schools, despite the chief minister’s assurance that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts. However, the movement soon turned into the revival of the demand for a separate state.