Trouble erupted in Darjeeling this morning after a young man’s body was found at Sonada, 15 kilometers from the hill town. Local people claim the man, Yashi Bhutia, was shot dead by police around midnight.
This morning, local people walked with the body, threw stones at the Sonada police station and police had to fire teargas to disperse crowds. A few local people rubber bullets were also used.
Local people claimed Bhutia was shot dead by the police when he was on his way home after picking up medicines. Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) Neeraj Zimba stated, “An innocent youth has been killed. We are deeply pained.”
Gautam Deb, minister and Trinamool Congress chief of Darjeeling district, denied any police firing. “Police are not going for any confrontation with the protesters. No question of them opening fire on a lone youth,” he said from Siliguri at the foothills of Darjeeling.
Morcha chief Bimal Gurung is reported to have called an urgent meeting later today.
Darjeeling has been simmering ever since the fight between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Morcha chief Bimal Gurung started over the ‘Bengali-must’ policy which snowballed into a demand for a different state of Gorkhaland. A month ago, when protests turned violent, the army had to be called in to control the situation.