The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday called in the Army in Darjeeling after police failed to prevent Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters from indulging in violence.
This is the first time that the armed forces have been brought in to control the law-and-order situation in the State since Mamata Banerjee took over as the chief minister in 2011. Earlier, the State government had sought army aid in 2010, when violence broke out at Deganga.
The violence erupted after Bengali language was made compulsory up to Class 10 in State schools by Mamata Banerjee last week. The police resorted to lathi-charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob after GJM supporters gathered outside the Raj Bhavan and started pelting stones at the police contingent.
Though several people were injured in the tussle, which had police personnel lathi-charging GJM supporters armed with stones, the exact number could not be certified.
“As many as 52 policemen were injured, a few of them seriously,” NR Babu, additional director general of police told Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, Bimal Gurung, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief, proclaimed himself as the “chief minister of the hills” and challenged Mamata Banerjee to stop the agitation in the area.
“Will directly talk to the Centre, we are an ally of NDA. We will give them all the details of police atrocities on the innocent people of hills,” he added.
The State government has asked the local television channels to go off air until further notice.