Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went on the offensive on Saturday and accused the Modi government of encouraging the stir, claiming there was a "deep-rooted" conspiracy" behind it even as she slammed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for terrorist links.
On the boil for the past 10 days over a separate state demand, Darjeeling on Saturday witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police in which one person was killed and 35 security personnel were injured, including an IRB officer seriously.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) workers hurled petrol bombs, stones and bottles at the police at several places after the son of a Morcha MLA was arrested and a senior GJM leader’s house allegedly vandalised Friday night. The clashes led the security forces to lob teargas shells and resort to baton-charge to disperse the mobs, a police official said.
Army contingents were deployed to control the situation and they staged flag marches in several areas of the violence-hit hill district, where the indefinite shutdown to press for a separate Gorkhaland entered the third day.
Responding to the charge, BJP chief Amit Shah said, "Mamata sees conspiracy in everything. She had made similar allegations against the Indian Army as well."
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which controls the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is an ally of BJP whose S S Ahluwalia represents Darjeeling in the Lok Sabha.
When asked about Ahluwalia backing the agitation and whether BJP supported it, Shah said,"It is true that we are in favour of small states. Once we decide something about it, we will announce it."
He, however, did not say if the party wanted a separate state....