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T'gana effect: 2 dead in Assam, indefinite bandh in Darjeeling

Diphu (Assam)/Darjeeling, Aug 1, 2013 (PTI): 21:29 IST
Policemen outside the District Magistrate's office during the 72-hour bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha demanding a separate Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on Tuesday. PTI Photo
Two persons were killed in police firing in escalating violence in the agitation for a separate Karbi Anglong state in Assam on the lines of Telangana which also spurred GJM today to call for an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling from Saturday for Gorkhaland.

As large-scale arson broke out, the Army, called in yesterday, was on stand by to assist the Karbi Anglong district administration with police and paramilitary forces on patrol, official sources in Diphu said.

One person Gautam Timung was killed in police firing today taking the death toll to two in Karbi Anglong district with statehood agitators defying indefinite curfew and targeting All India Radio and other public buildings in Diphu over the demand for a separate state carved out of two Assam districts.

The incident happened when agitators tried to remove a section of railway line after they were repaired following removal of another portion at a place between Doldoli and Dhansiri on the Diphu-Dimapur line, official sources said.

22-year-old college student Rahul Signa, who was injured in police firing yesterday, died of his injuries late last night, the sources said.

The police fired in the air near the All India Radio building after agitators set ablaze satellite dishes halting broadcast and relay and torched a waiting room made of wood, the sources said.

Also set on fire were wooden offices of the Public Works Department, Forest and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the sources said.

The office of the Assam Sahitya Sabha, Assam's apex literary body, was damaged as also books, they said.

Reversing its decision within hours after the arrival of central forces in the hills, the GJM said it took a 'hard decision' for an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling from Saturday to demand a Gorkhaland state on the lines of Telangana.

Accusing the West Bengal government of trying to 'crush a democratic movement', GJM leader Harka Bahadur Chhetri said, "We had to take a hard stand."

"There will be indefinite bandh in the hills from August 3. There will be no relaxation," he added.

Earlier in the day, GJM general secretary and spokesman Roshan Giri had said that in view of Eid, the GJM would give some relaxation and the shut down would be for 96-hours.
West Bengal miniser Gautam Deb said that steps would be taken to deal with any violence, while stating that the Centre would be equally accountable.

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