Police lathi-charge rally crowd at Chowk Bazaar

Police lathi-charge
Sat, Sep 9, 2017

DARJEELING: Police today lathi-charged and fired tear gas upon the crowd which had gathered at Chowk Bazaar here to attend a rally and listen to the daily public speeches. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Community Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) alleged that the police action was unjustified and without any provocation.
Rallies and public meetings are held daily by the GJM and CPRM.
The sudden police lathi-charge took place when the first speaker, municipality ward councillor Pratibha Rai had just started her speech. Tear gas shells were fired to disperse the crowd.
Some people have sustained injuries.
“It was a peaceful programme and the lathi-charge was done without any provocation,’ said Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai.
CPRM leader Shekhar Chettri said: “It was a routine rally and was being done democratically. The police force, without any reason, started a lathi-charge and fired tear gas. We condemn such action by the police.”
Chettri said the police action was to deter political parties from holding rally or public meeting tomorrow as Morcha dissident leader Binay Tamang is holding a public meeting.
However, Tamang told media that the public meeting tomorrow has been cancelled.
“The meeting has been postponed to a later date. A mass meeting will be held at Darjeeling Motor Stand where people from Kalimpong and Kurseong will attend it,” he said.
Tamang condemned the lathi-charge incident at Chowk Bazaar.
Police officials here did not want to comment on lathi-charge incident.
Meanwhile, founder GJM member Dinesh Gurung today told media here over phone from Delhi that the ongoing bandh in the hills should be lifted as people are suffering while certain persons are making money from it.
“We condemn the ongoing bandh as people are facing problems while some are earning money. The bandh should be lifted,” he said.
Gurung is an accused in the Madan Tamang murder case and is presently out on bail with a condition that he should not enter Darjeeling without necessary permission.