Darjeeling (West Bengal): Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters on Thursday clashed with police which used baton charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the agitators who tried to march to the venue of the state cabinet meeting in Darjeeling.
GJM supporters tried to break the barricades put up by the police and hurled brickbats. They also damaged some police vehicles and injured some security personnel, police sources said.
They were protesting among other things "imposition of Bengali language in the schools in the hills".
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and most of the cabinet ministers were present in the hill town apart from chief secretary, home secretary and other high officials.
The GJM supporters held a dharna and raised slogans against the chief minister.
Shopkeepers at some places, including the Mall, downed their shutters while the traffic came to a halt, causing inconvenience to tourists.
Meanwhile, Banerjee said after the meeting, "The people in the hills were neglected for a long time. We will try our best to usher in development for them."
"The people in the hill areas have been demanding development. Nothing had happened during the Left rule of 34 years, but things have changed after our government took over. We have done so many development works here. I am proud to say that I am the first chief minister to visit the hills for more than 100 times," she said.
Making a dig at the GJM, which opposed her party the TMC, she said, "Let there be competition for development."
Asked about the GJM's agitation programme, she said, "They have the democratic right. Let them do it. They have no issue."
On the GJM's opposition to the alleged "imposition of Bengali language" in the schools in the hills, she once again made it clear that Bengali was not made a compulsory subject.
"Rather, we gave recognition to the Nepali language," she said.
Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 18:39 PM