At a time when a section of Hill based Gorkha leaders have been criticising the BJP leadership over the issue of “Permanent Political Solution” for this region, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista highlighted the need for “Constitutional Solution” for Darjeeling region, in the Parliament today.
Tension simmered afresh in Kaliaganj in North Dinajpur district after police allegedly shot dead a youth at midnight yesterday.
Mritunjay Barman, 33, whom the BJP identified as one of their supporters, was allegedly shot dead by an officer when he tried to stop the police from arresting his uncle, Bishnu Barman, from a marriage party at Radhikapur in connection with the torching of the Kaliaganj police station.
As the district administration extended the purview of the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc and suspended Internet services in Kaliaganj today, the BJP has called for a 12-hour shutdown of north Bengal districts tomorrow.
Protesters, including members of adivasi and Rajbanshi groups and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, had been protesting the death of a 17-year-old girl and had marched to the police station when men in uniform stopped them on Tuesday. As the protesters clashed with the police, some of them managed to enter the police station and torched some rooms and vehicles there.
Protests erupted on 21 April when the girl’s body was found floating in a pond in Gangoa village. Villagers claimed that the girl was abducted, raped and killed by a youth hailing from a nearby village, with whom she allegedly had a love affair. Police, however, had said that the girl may have committed suicide as they said a bottle of poison was found near the pond. The postmortem report on Thursday last said that the girl had died of consuming poison, which the protesters did not buy.
“At midnight yesterday, a marriage party was going on near our village. Suddenly, a team of police from the Kaliaganj police station arrived there and they wanted to arrest me in connection with the police station torching case. Police tried to arrest some of our relatives too. My nephew Mritunjay Barman stepped in and protested this.”
As an altercation started, a police officer took out his gun and shot him,” Bishnu Barman, the uncle of the deceased, said. Mr Barman is a BJP member of the Kaliaganj panchayat samity. Protesting the incident, the BJP held a ‘dharna’ at Siliguri More in Raiganj for hours this afternoon.
BJP MP from Raiganj Debasree Chaudhuri said, “We have received a report that an ASI of the Kaliaganj police station killed our BJP member. The police have become violent in Kaliaganj after yesterday’s press conference of the chief minister. They have started to swoop down on BJP members. Protesting this police atrocity, we have called for a 12- hour general strike in North Bengal districts tomorrow.”(in photo).
According to the DIG of Police of North Bengal Anup Jaiswal, police are trying hard to restore law and order in Kaliaganj. “I visited the Kaliaganj police station today and the police are doing their best to restore peace,” he said, adding that the SP would give the other details.