Thousands participate in funeral procession

June 19, 2017 02:00 AM Bhim Chapagain

ILAM, June 19: Thousands of locals in Darjeeling on Sunday took out huge processions to observe “Black Day” to protest against the killing of three Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists in army action.

The locals marched in the city with coffins of the  three activists. Indian Army personnel had opened fire on the protestors as GJM activists took to the streets, protesting against the police raid of their office. 

Sunil Rai of Bijanbari Kaijale, Bimal Shashankar of Kamjer and Mahesh Chhetri of Reling area were killed in army firing on Saturday. While Rai and  Shashankar died on the spot, Chhetri succumbed to his injury while undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

The GJM had asked all Darjeeling residents to put black flags on their houses to protest against the killings and take part in the ongoing protest activities. 

GJM Chief Bimal Gurung has alleged that the West Bengal government had shown dictatorial behavior by terming them terrorists. He also urged all including Trinamul Congress to join their protests for the cause of Gorkhaland.

On Saturday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee had accused the GJM of having a nexus with the terrorist outfits in India's North East and other countries. The statement had further incited the protests in Darjeeling.

As the general strike called by GJM entered the fourth day on Sunday, normal life across Darjeeling has become difficult. While all schools and businesses have remained closed, the vehicles, too, have chosen to stay off the road. 

Unrest flared up in Darjeeling after the West Bengal government decided to make the Bengali language a compulsory subject in schools from grade 1 to 10. Locals in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik as well as in a few other places have stepped up the protest, demanding the withdrawal of the decision. 

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