GJM-police clash: IRB commandant seriously injured, says CM

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The police rejected the allegations of firing by its personnel, and said one person was killed during the clashes. Eight protestors have suffered bullet injuries in the Singamari area alone, an eyewitness said, requesting that he not be named.

There were reports of death of an assistant commandant of the India Reserve Battalion but the death has not been confirmed yet. He has been admitted to hospital, and is battling for life.

"This is a deep-rooted conspiracy. So many bombs and arms can not be gathered in a day", Banerjee told reporters, adding, "I am ready to sacrifice my life, but I will not allow Bengal to be divided".

"The board members of the State have formed a committee assuring that peace will prevail in the hills as it will be their first priority to work on". They are violating the Constitution. Policemen were seen picking up the stones thrown at them and hurl those back at the agitators.

Widespread protests were reported from Singamari, the northern point of Darjeeling, as hundreds of GJM's women activists rallied with shrill condemnation of the raid, and shouted slogans for a separate Gorkhaland as they held aloft the tricolour.

The incident, in which several people were injured, prompted the administration to deploy Army in the area.

Gurung, whose party is spearheading the movement, also gave out a clarion call to his supporters to intensify their demand to carve out a new state from West Bengal named Gorkhaland. They set our vehicles ablaze. However, GJM supporters took out a procession on Saturday; when police stopped them, they hurled stones and bottles. "We had to resort to lathi- charge", a senior police official said.

Darjeeling remains on shutdown mode for the seventh consecutive day as thousands of supporters took to the streets to mark their protest against the killing of the two GJM supporters.

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However, unlike the hills, the GJM-called strike only managed to achieve partial success as most of the shops stayed open in prominent towns like Jalpaiguri, Malbazar, Dhupguri and Nagrakata and public transport plied as usual.

The home minister said that he had spoken to the Bengal chief minister yesterday.

GJM leaders said Vikram Rai, son of GJM MLA Amar Rai, was "picked up" by the police from Darjeeling.

Scenes across Darjeeling and nearby Ghoom resembled a battlefield with charred buses and police vehicles, and bricks strewn on the road. "Every issue can be resolved through mutual dialogue".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha of conspiring with insurgent groups in the North East to incite violence in Darjeeling. Gorkhas have been agitating for decades for a new state of "Gorkhaland" within West Bengal, claiming Bengali-speaking outsiders have exploited their resources and imposed their culture and language. Thus, any clarification in this regard is not required.

In 2013, GJM had moved Supreme Court after Calcutta High Court declared bandh as illegal.

Asked if the TRS is in favour of small states, Kavitha said this has been the party's stand since the beginning of the Telangana movement.

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