Army called out to patrol Siliguri streets

Kolkata/Siliguri (PTI): The Army was on Thursday called out to patrol streets of Siliguri and adjacent areas following attacks on local people, tourists and police by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha activists demanding a separate state.
As tension prevailed in various areas in north Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee called an all-party meeting on June 17 to discuss the Darjeeling crisis arising out of the Morcha’s demand.
“I contacted the Army, discussed the situation with the authorities and asked them to patrol streets as early as possible in Siliguri and the vicinity,” Bhattacharjee said at Writers’ Buildings here.
Saying that an unrest was growing in Siliguri and its adjoining areas, he appealed to people there and all political parties to maintain peace and amity and not to indulge in violence.
“You have to maintain peace and harmony which is the need of the hour,” Bhattacharjee said.
GJM supporters attacked tourists and policemen, injuring 28 people and damaged 16 vehicles last evening at Malbazar in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district, as two organisations observed a 48-hour bandh in this north Bengal town in Darjeeling district from on Thursday.
Twelve tourists, being escorted by Forest Department personnel from a forest bungalow at Chapramari in Jalpaiguri district, were attacked by armed GJM supporters at Khunia More, Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife-II, Tapan Das said.
The GJM supporters torched one of the vehicles the tourists were travelling in and damaged the other and also attacked local people at Malbazar town and stoned the police when they intervened. (The Hindu)

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