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Darjeeling strike : GJM supporters set several establishments on fire

 By Deepayan Sinha

Darjeeling, June 16 : Continuing with protests and violence, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists allegedly torched several Government facilities in Darjeeling hills in the wee hours of Friday, the day five of their indefinite strike in the hills.


On Thursday, GJM supporters had set ablaze several police jeeps, a media vehicle and a police outpost after the  police raided the party's office and a huge cache of weapons.


A senior police official told IBNS, "Since the wee hours of Friday, strike supporters set several Government buildings on fire. The Bombasti Panchayat office and another Government office at Kalimpong, a health centre and state electricity department's office at Lodhama, an office at Rimbik hydro-electric power plant, forest guards' apartment at Tarkhola, and a panchayat office and a Government-run school at Mirik were torched by the strikers today."


"A huge police force have been deployed to the violence-hit areas," he added.

 Seven more senior police officials, including four IPS officers, have been deployed in the Darjeeling hills.


Normal life in the hills has been hit due to the strike. No private car was seen on the roads and most of the shops remained closed.


Four more CRPF companies are being deployed to Darjeeling, according to sources.


Meanwhile, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday called GJM's indefinite strike in Darjeeling illegal, mentioning an old judgement, pronounced by ex-justice Arun Kumar Mishra  in 2013. The court has also directed the state Government to file an affidavit within the next nine days giving an account of the amount of losses due to the  Morcha's strike.

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