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Internet remains suspended, GJM workers take out protest march

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Darjeeling (WB), Jun 19 : Security forces patrolled the streets in this tense hill district and Internet services remained suspended for the second day today as GJM supporters held a march here and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for rejecting their demand for a separate state.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has called an all-party meeting here tomorrow to discuss the next course of action.

In Kolkata, the chief minister urged all parties concerned and stakeholders to attend an all-party meeting convened by the state government in Siliguri on June 22 on the prevailing situation in Darjeeling.

“Violence cannot be a solution to any problem and only talks can solve it,” she told reporters.

Banerjee had said on Saturday, “I am ready to sacrifice my life, but I will not allow Bengal to be divided.”

The GJM ruled out any discussion with the government, but said it would be “comfortable” holding talks with the BJP-led government at the Centre.

The BJP is an ally of the GJM and party MP S S Ahluwalia had won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling with its support.

“We are not ready for talks with the West Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee has insulted us, she has called us terrorists,” GJM leader Binay Tamang said.

The GJM agitators today blocked NH-31A at some places in Darjeeling district to protest the death of three their activists on Saturday.

The 92-km-long NH 31A connects Sevoke in Darjeeling district to Gangtok and is considered the lifeline of Sikkim.

Around 30 km of the highway passes through West Bengal.

A state police official said, “Raids will continue. In fact, there will be raids tonight itself which will be on the basis of our intelligence inputs.”

Anybody disturbing the law and order situation in the hills would face “tough handling” by the police, he said.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has sent a report on the ongoing violence in Darjeeling to the Union Home Ministry, which has dispatched a contingent of 125 women security personnel to help restore peace in the hills.

The state government’s report is under examination of the ministry, official sources said in New Delhi.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has also spoken to the state’s chief secretary, who had demanded that two companies — 250 personnel — of women paramilitary personnel be sent there, they said.

Carrying black flags, protesters, especially the youth, marched on the streets of Chowkbazar area of Darjeeling, shouting slogans against the state government and the chief minister.

They also burnt effigies of Banerjee and vowed to continue their fight for a separate Gorkhaland.

“Three of our activists were killed. We are ready to give our lives, but will not stop protesting till we get Gorkhaland,” Sirish Pradhan, a GJM worker, said.

Several small processions were taken out by the GJM activists in various parts of Darjeeling.

Internet services remained suspended for the second day today to stop the GJM activists from using the social media to spread “provocative posts”, police sources said.

Security forces patrolled the streets as the situation remained tense on the fifth day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown.

“The situation is still very tense. Since morning, there has been no incident of violence. But we are on high alert and are prepared for any eventuality,” said a senior police officer.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had appealed to the protesters yesterday not to resort to violence and instead, hold a dialogue to resolve any issue.

But the GJM expressed its “displeasure” with the Centre and questioned the absence of BJP MP from Darjeeling Ahluwalia at the time of the crisis.

“The role of alliance partner BJP is very unfortunate and very disappointing. We had expected something positive on the part of the central government. We feel we are being used as pawns by the Centre and the state,” Darjeeling MLA and senior GJM leader Amar Singh Rai said.

The GJM activists had taken out a protest march here yesterday carrying the bodies of two party supporters who, they alleged, were killed in police firing on Saturday.

Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices and various entry exit points of the hills while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed.

Except medicine shops, all others shops, hotels were closed in the hills.

PTI

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Monsoon likely to enter Bihar next week

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monsoon rain

Patna, June 23: The much-awaited monsoon is likely to enter Bihar by next week, ushering in good news for millions who have been reeling under a heatwave like condition, an official on Saturday said.

According to the Met Department official here, monsoon is set to hit Bihar in the next two to three days. It has already been delayed by nearly two weeks.

It hits the state between June 10 and 12. But no monsoon till the third week of June has triggered fears of deficit rainfall, which could result in a drought-like situation.

There has been a heatwave in Bihar since last week. “Only rains could bring relief from the scorching heat. There will be rains soon and temperature will come down by two to four degrees,” the official added.

Temperature has been hovering above 40 degrees Celsius since the last ten days in Patna and Gaya districts.

Farmers were hoping for a normal monsoon-like in 2017 which had helped them increase their paddy output. But the delayed arrival of it is set to hit paddy sowing.

IANS

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Shocking! Son throws mother infront of tractor to stop rival from cultivating land

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tractor
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New Delhi, June 23: In a shocking incident, a man in Maharashtra’s Washim reportedly threw his old mother in front of a tractor being driven by another man with whom he had a land dispute.

News agency ANI reported that the incident is of Thursday (June 21) and the accused had lost a case of dispute for the land on which the other man was using his tractor for cultivation. To stop him, the elderly lady was thrown in front of the tractor.

While speaking over the above incident with ANI, Senior Police Inspector Suresh Naiknaware said that ”There was a fight between two groups over land dispute. FIRs have been registered against people from both sides. 1 person has been arrested. Further investigation underway”.

WeForNews

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Locals protest against massive tree felling in Delhi

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delhi protest tree felling
Photo Credit (ANI)

New Delhi, June 23: In order to save cutting of over “14000 trees” under the south Delhi redevelopment project, a protest was carried out by locals in the national capital on Friday night.

Pollution is wrecking a havoc in the national capital and the last couple of weeks witnessed intensely degraded air quality hitting the parameter of very poor to severe condition.

And now, the massive tree felling in the national capital had come at a time when the current average pollution level of Delhi is already at 300 Air Quality Index which falls in the category that risks life and limb of people.

Held under the “Delhi Trees SOS” campaign, the protest was called to aware people about the redevelopment project and urge the government to avoid cutting trees for the same.

“We are citizens of Delhi, who have formed this Delhi SOS initiative. We want to tell that it’s so stupid on half of the authorities to cut trees at a time when the weather of Delhi has been severe since last two years. Trees are very important to us. The government is saying that they will compensate by putting plants near Wazirabad bridge. We don’t think it’s a good idea,” Juhi Saklani, a member of the campaign, told news agency ANI.

The protest started at the Sarojini Nagar area.

On similar lines, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court against the same developmental project in which the petitioner claimed that the “Permission was granted incorrectly to cut over 2500 trees for various development projects.”

The plea further said that the felling of trees already started on Friday in at least six locations of the national capital.

The Delhi High Court has asked the petitioners to give photographs of the trees that were cut today.

Trees have been cut in Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Tyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri, and Mohammadpur areas of Delhi.

The high court issued notices to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, state-owned construction firm NBCC, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and others.

However, it refused to put a stay on the construction projects for now. The court would now hear the plea on an urgent basis on Monday.

With Inputs from ANI

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