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Thrash finger at Morcha

Darjeeling, July 26: Two GNLF supporters were injured when alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha workers thrashed them in Kurseong today, a day before Subash Ghisingh’s party is scheduled to observe martyrs’ day across the hills for the first time since 2008.

The GNLF alleged that their workers were attacked by 100-odd Morcha activists around 11.45am when they were plastering posters urging hill residents to attend tomorrow’s programme at Longview, 20km from Siliguri.

Gorey Dong, 56, and Kundan Pakhrin, 36, a resident of Rohini, were admitted to the Kurseong subdivisional hospital with injuries.

Both the Morcha and GNLF have filed FIRs.

“Our supporters were attacked but that will not stop us from observing martrys’ day. A centralised event for our supporters from Kurseong and Mirik will be held at Longview from 9am. Our supporters from Darjeeling subdivision will observe the day in their constituencies,” GNLF spokesperson Laadup Ghisingh said.

He added that some supporters would observe the day at the Mirik party office before heading for Longview.

Police sources said one person was arrested from Kurseong today in connection with the attack on GNLF workers.

The GNLF has been observing martyrs’ day on July 27 since 1988 as 13 people were killed in a police firing in Kalimpong on that day in 1986. But since 2007 after Morcha was formed, GNLF has not been able to observe the day.

Recently, the GNLF has started regrouping in the region and opened its unit in many tea gardens and also in Darjeeling and Kurseong. Observers said the party’s decision to observe the day across the hills is an attempt to show its strength in the region.

It is apprehended that trouble can break out tomorrow and nine platoons of the Rapid Action Force have been posted in the hills to maintain law and order. Three platoons of the RAF and two platoons of the Indian Reserve Battalion are already posted in the hills.

While the GTA will observe the day at the martyrs’ column in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik, Morcha will observe the day in the 45 hill GTA constituencies.

“We will deploy 12 platoons of RAF and two of IRB across the hills tomorrow,”said Kunal Aggarawal, superintendent of police, Darjeeling.

“Any party can observe martyrs’ day to pay obeisance to the martyrs’ and we have no problems with GNLF’s decision. In my constituency at Risheehat, Morcha will observe martrys’day at two places, while GNLF is planning it in one place,” said Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of Morcha.