Darjeeling unrest: Congress critical of Mamata's visit to Netherlands

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], June 20 (ANI): The Congress Party on Tuesday suggested both the Central and the West Bengal Governments to take the Darjeeling matter seriously and to come to a decision together instead of going out as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for Netherlands. "The situation in Darjeeling is becoming worse day by day. The Central and the state Governments must take the Darjeeling matter seriously and must take decision together by talking with the people there," Congress leader Meem Afzal told ANI. Echoing similar views, another Congress Party leader P. L. Punia said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee should be present in the state instead of going to Netherlands. "I believe that instead of going to Darjeeling, she must be present in the state and think to solve the issue," he added. Mamata yesterday left for her Netherlands visit even as the indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) continued. Mamata, who left to address a United Nations meet, said her ministers were monitoring the situation in violence-hit Darjeeling. "Violent protests won't be tolerated. My ministers are monitoring the situation," she told ANI at the Kolkata airport. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he has spoken to Mamata over the law and order situation in Darjeeling. Thirty-six policemen were injured on Saturday in clashes with the GJM supporters. The GJM announced an indefinite strike from Monday encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars protesting against Mamata Banerjee's decision to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools. The strike was called even after the Chief Minister assured that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts. The protestors are also asking for a separate Gorkhaland, a long pending demand of the people of the hills. GJM chief Bimal Gurung claimed that the West Bengal Police are illegally entering their supporters' houses and torturing them and also accused them of killing two of his supporters. He said that GJM would further strengthen their agitation. Mamata tore into the GJM supporters and said that they aren't listening to the court, even after it had passed an order citing the bandh was "illegal." Meanwhile, Rajnath reviewed the security situation in Darjeeling by sending more troops to help restore normalcy as the state government has not yet submitted its report on the situation. (ANI)