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Darjeeling Unrest: GJM media manager Vikram Rai arrested; strike enters sixth day

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Kolkata, June 17, 2017: The Darjeeling hills in West Bengal remained tense as the indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha entered into the sixth day on Saturday.

Last night, Vikram Rai, son of Darjeeling MLA Amar Rai and media manager of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), was arrested. Police also raided and allegedly vandalised the residence of Assistant Gen Secretary of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Binay Tamang.

After Thursday’s massive clash between police and the GJM activists following a raid at the Party chief Bimal Gurung’s house, the Darjeeling hills continued to be tense with rallies and counter-rallies, both by the Morcha activists and state ruling party throughout Friday.

Early on Friday morning, the GJM supporters torched a panchayat office at Mirik, a hydro electric supply office at Lodhama in Darjeeling and a health centre in Rimbik-Lodhama.

Accusing police of high handedness and oppression, the women wing of GJM took out a rally in Darjeeling town in the afternoon.

The activists carrying Indian national flag were seen shouting slogans in demand of the separate state of Gorkhaland. However, they were stopped mid way by police and central forces.

Countering the GJM rally, the Trinamool Congress members took out a protest rally in Darjeeling district’s Mirik sub-division, a party stronghold after its victory in the recent municipal elections.

Blaming the GJM for continuous violence and arson in the hills, the participants in the rally demanded the removal of Gurung.

Slogans like “Bimal Gurung Dur Haato” (Bimal Gurung Go away) were shouted from the gathering.

Taking a swipe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP’s National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya accused the state government of not keeping the promises made during the formation of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) in the hills.

Meanwhile, the activists of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, a Trinamool Congress ally in the last state assembly election, and Jana Andolan Party (JAP) hit the streets supporting the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in the hills.

“The state government’s policy is alienating them more and more from the people in the hills. This is not a good sign,” JAP chief Harka Bahadur Chettri said, and urged the state government to start a discussion with the local parties in the hills.

“It seems that there is a clash of ego between the state government and GJM. there should be meetings and discussions in the hills to sort out the situation. No political solution can be achieved through police action,” he added.

In the hills, hotels mostly remained shut throughout the day.

A long queue could be seen at the bus station as tourists and hotel workers prepared to leave the hills. Local administration arranged bus services so that stranded tourists could get to Siliguri.

Read More: GJM workers turn violent after police raid on party chief’s house

Wefornews Bureau

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After ‘Bhagwad Gita’, Haryana school kids to recite ‘Gayatri Mantra’

Opposition parties in Haryana have accused the BJP government of “saffronising the education system”.

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Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

Chandigarh, Feb 24 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana is all set to make students in government schools of Haryana recite the “Gayatri Mantra” during morning prayers.

Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said on Saturday that the state government is going to make recitation of Gayatri Mantra mandatory in morning prayers in schools.

“Haryana is the land of ‘Bhagwad Gita’ and the cow. Reciting the Gayatri Mantra will inculcate values among students,” Sharma told the media here.

The BJP government in Haryana led by former RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) ideologue, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, had in 2015 announced that lessons from Hindu holy book Bhagwad Gita would be part of the school curriculum. This was introduced in 2016.

Opposition parties in Haryana have accused the BJP government of “saffronising the education system”.

The state has a BJP government since October 2014.

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Bihar: 9 killed, several others injures as a bolero van runs over School children in Muzaffarpur

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Muzaffarpur Accident (Photo-ANI)

Nine school students died in a road accident in Muzzafarpur of Bihar after a speeding SUV car hit them.

Almost 14 other are reported injured in a road accident at Minapur of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. The students were crossing the road while a speeding bolero van hit them.

“All the injured said to be around 20 in number, have been rushed to the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The condition of some of them was stated to be critical,” he said.

The MLA of the area has alleged that the driver of the van was drunk. Whereas Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has announced Rs 4 Lakh each as ex-gratia to the families of the deceased.

WeForNews

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Light rain, snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 24: Light rain in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches occurred in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The Met said the weather will improve Sunday onwards.

Worries of an impending dry summer have been revisiting the people as no major snowfall occurred in the valley during this winter.

The minimum temperatures continued their rising trend across the state.

The minimum temperature was 5.8 in Srinagar, while it was 2.7 in Pahalgam and minus two in Gulmarg.

Leh town of Ladakh region recorded minus three as the minimum.

Jammu city recorded 15.3, Katra 13.8, Batote 7.3, Banihal 7.2, Bhaderwah 6.4 and Udhampur 14 degrees Celsius.

IANS

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