A 38-year-old Gorkhaland supporter was allegedly shot dead by police in Mirik, a tourist town around 50 kilometers from Darjeeling, during a demonstration on late Monday, claimed Gorkha Janmukti Morcha members of Tuesday.
The deceased has been identified as Asish Tamang. He is said to be an active supporter of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and separate statehood.
The West Bengal Police officials refused to comment on the killing.
However, West Bengal Tourism Minister and Trinamool’s Darjeeling district chief Gautam Deb talking to the media denied reports of police firing.
According to media reports, TMC and GJM party-workers clashed on Monday evening in Mirik. GJM supporters a few hours later gathered at the police station demanding release of the activist arrested during clash. On denial the party-workers got irate and torched several police vehicles.
Police lathi-charged and then opened fire, claimed GJM workers.
The West Bengal police has briefed up security in the hill town to curb any violent incident. Meanwhile, GJM has decided to take out a rally with Tamang’s body and sit outside the district magistrate’s office to press in their demands.
Tensions have erupted in Darjeeling and surrounding areas since June 8 after GJM renewed the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state. Indefinite shutdown in the hill town began from June 12. Eight people have lost their lives during various agitation for separate statehood since shutdown began. Except pharmacies all other business outlets are closed. The government has suspended internet in the hill town for the past 31 days and army is patrolling the hills.