Violence in Darjeeling
Fresh violence erupted in Darjeeling yesterday after a separatist group accused police of killing a supporter, prompting forces to fire tear gas as the Indian hill resort reels from weeks-long unrest. Bouts of clashes and arson attacks have rattled the picturesque hill station for more than three weeks, causing schools and shops to shut down as thousands of mostly Indian tourists pack their bags and flee. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) - a movement that has long called for a separate state for ethnic Gorkhas in West Bengal-accused police of shooting dead 31year-old Tashi Bhutia late Friday. “(He) was shot dead by police at Sonada on the outskirts of Darjeeling town when he was returning home from a medicine shop,” GJM’s general secretary Roshan Giri said. But authorities, including West Bengal tourism minister Gautam Dev, have denied GJM’s latest allegation, saying they were unaware of any death and that “police did not open fire”.