STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 4 August
Tension prevailed after police prevented Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) activists and leaders from entering the Hill Cart Road in Siliguri today as the GJMM activists adamantly insisted cops to allow their cavalcade through Hill Cart Road on the way towards Kalimpong,
The GJMM activists took out a rally from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital with the body of the party supporter Mangal Singh Rajput, who succumbed to his injuries in a private nursing home in Siliguri last evening. He had attempted immolation in Kalimpong on 29 July.
The GJMM would take out another condolence rally at Kalimpong around 2 p.m. tomorrow where Mr Bimal Gurung would present.
Trouble broke out when police refused to allow the GJMM activists in the heart of the Siliguri town. They staged a sit-in demonstration at Darjeeling More that continued for 20 minutes. Traffic came to a halt on National Highway 31-A.
The GJMM activists escorted the hearse from the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) on its way to Kalimpong.
The Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) deputy chief Colonel( retired) Ramesh Aley, senior party leader Mr P Arjun and others argued with the police at NBMCH that the administration should allow the cavalcade through Hill Cart Road, which is one of the busiest area in the town, but police refused to allow them to maintain law and order.
At Darjeeling More, Colonel Aley again requested police to allow them to march through Hill Cart Road.
Senior police officers tried to pacify GJMM leaders and finally requested to go to Kalimpong via Salugara in the Bhaktinagar police station, but not to enter at Hill Cart Road to avoid any untoward incident.
Colonel Aley demanded they would not leave the place if the top police officials did not talk to them. Later, the Siliguri police commissioner Mr K Jayaraman intervened and the sit-in-demonstration was lifted.
Colonel Aley said the party had many supporters in Siliguri and they would like to pay tribute to Rajput.
“He is a martyr and many people in Siliguri would like to pay homage to him, so we wanted to take the cavalcade at Hill Cart Road. But the administration did not allow us, it is very unfortunate, “he said.
A senior police officer said with the situation being volatile, it was not possible to allow the GJMM activists to enter with the cavalcade at Hill Cart Road.
“There was every possibility of untoward incidents if the administration would allow them for the condolence procession. So we prevented them to enter," the officer said.
Later the cavalcade of more than 20 vehicles went to Kalimpong through Salugara. The GJMM supporters offered ‘khada’ to the body of Rajput at Gandhi Nagar, Salugara.