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Mamata Points at Conspiracy, Says GJM Aided by North East Insurgents

Sujit Nath |

Updated: June 17, 2017, 11:00 PM IST
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Mamata Points at Conspiracy, Says GJM Aided by North East Insurgents
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (right) says the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is linked with some terror groups in the North East.
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that violence in Darjeeling was a "deep-rooted conspiracy", blaming some insurgency groups in the North Eastern states for helping Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in their demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

Addressing a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna, the chief minister said, "I was told that GJM is getting help from the underground insurgency groups of the North Eastern states."

"Our police department are working on this information and I cannot disclose much as this is a sensitive matter," she said, questioning "where the GJM was getting illegal arms and money from?"

GJM supporters were seen holding the national flag while agitating in Darjeeling on Saturday.

"They (GJM) is linked with some terror groups in the North East. I would like to request insurgency groups not to extend any support to them. They are also getting help from other countries. I will not comment on this matter as the concerned agencies are looking into it," Mamata said.

She said, "I saw them holding our national flag while agitating in the Hills. This is illegal and against Indian Constitution. We cannot support the violation of the Constitution. They enjoyed for five years and now when the elections are coming they start violence because you have lost credentials."

ALSO READ | GJM's Media Manager Arrested from Home; MLA Father Lashes Out at Cops

"They are threatening and forcing journalists to publish anti-government news. It is a deep-rooted conspiracy, and I would like to ask the central government to make them (ally GJM) understand. I refuse to believe that these arms were not collected in a day. I have information that they collected it over time," she said.

GJM supporters confront policemen during a peaceful protest in Darjeeling on Saturday.

When asked if the government will entertain talks, if GJM calls off its strike, Mamata said, "We are ready for talks, but not under the current situation."

Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah hit out at the West Bengal CM, saying "she sees conspiracy in everything".

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 of Gorkhaland carved out of West Bengal.

On Saturday, an officer of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) was critically injured after he was stabbed with a traditional Nepali kukri as the Hills witnessed fresh clashes between security personnel and protesters. Thirty-five security personnel were also injured.

The GJM said two of its supporters had died in police firing, but there was no immediate confirmation available.

On June 22, there will be an all-party meeting on Darjeeling unrest in Siliguri. The meeting will be chaired by senior officials and party leaders.

Mamata will not be a part of the meeting as she may visit The Hague, Netherlands, to attend the UN Public Service Day on an invitation by the United Nations.

Kiran Tamang, an IRB second battalion assistant commandant, was stabbed by GJM supporters, the police alleged.

She addressed the media after meeting the representatives of 16 development boards – formed for the indigenous communities of the Hills.

ALSO READ | Reserve Battalion Officer Stabbed by GJM Supporters as Clashes Rock Hills
First Published: June 17, 2017, 4:43 PM IST
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