The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Residents’ plea for peace

Siliguri, Sept. 28: Shocked by today’s clash, residents of Siliguri have appealed for peace and restraint.

As the business hub simmered with tension and the sound of army boots reverberating in silent streets in the evening, people cutting across religion, caste and social standing condemned the incident. They labelled it a “black spot” on the image of Siliguri — a city trying to build up a cosmopolitan image and known for its strong bonding with people of different communities.

“We never imagined that this could happen in Siliguri,” said Asru Kumar Sikdar, an academician.

Kumar Pradhan, the editor of a Nepalese news daily, echoed him and said: “We are confident that not a single sensible resident will support this hooliganism.”

Bikash Ghosh, the mayor of Siliguri, has instructed his councillors to remain in their respective wards. “We have asked them to talk to people and call peace meetings,” the mayor said.

Hasim Ansari, the assistant secretary of Jama Masjid Committee, said he has never witnessed any clash in the past six decades that he has been staying here. “It is disgraceful that we fought among ourselves,” he said.

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