Darjeeling: Several police personnel and Gorkhaland activists were injured after clashed broke out between them in the Chowkbazar area in Darjeeling on Friday, the 86th day of the indefinite shutdown.
The clashes broke out between the police and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists, who had taken out a rally in support of their demand for separate Gorkhaland, resorted to stone pelting on the police personnel deployed there, the police said.
The police initially tried to convince the GJM activists to refrain from stone pelting but they remained defiant, forcing police to use water cannon, resort to baton charge and also fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Police personnel and pro-Gorkhaland supporters were injured in clashes, they said.
Meanwhile, the police discovered a secret location in Patlebas area of the hills and seized bomb-making materials from it during the day.
Patlebas is a stronghold of GJM supremo Bimal Gurung.
“Based on a tip off we raided the place which was used to make bombs and IEDs. We have sealed the place and seized bomb making materials.
“We suspect that there are few modules of GJM who are behind the several blasts that took place on the hills in the last one month,” a senior police official said.
GJM supporters took out processions in various parts of the hills in support of their demand for a separate Gorkhaland state amidst patrolling by police and security forces, who also kept a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes as in other days.
Except for medical shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed.
GJM workers and various NGOs of the hills were seen distributing food items among the people as food supply has been severely hit due to the indefinite shutdown.