Tension gripped Chimney near Deorali under Kurseong sub-division this morning when GJMM and GNLF supporters clashed with each other. It has been learnt from the GNLF sources that the GJMM activists had physically assaulted the party convener for the sub-division, Mr Sangay Rumba. His house was ransacked and later set on fire. The GJMM activists also allegedly torched a vehicle and a two-wheeler, which were parked in front of the residence of the GNLF leader.
The GNLF leadership has termed the incident as GJMM retaliation against the GNLF rallies and meetings held yesterday in Mirik and other areas in Kurseong, including the Majua Busty near the Chimney, in connection with the observance of the DGHC Accord Day. This is the first GJMM-GNLF clash after Subash Ghisingh left the Hills in May this year.
The wife of Mr Rumba, Mrs Byangmu Rumba, alleged that some GJMM supporters had barged into their residence this morning and took away her husband. “Meanwhile, another group of GJMM activists came and started ransacking our residence. I was scared, me and my daughter fled through a window. We both got injured. After the police arrived we went back to find that our house, car and two-wheeler were reduced to cinders. They also broke open the cupboards and vandalised the residence,” she said.
However, the local GJMM leader, Mr Nuri Sherpa, said that the allegation was fabricated. “The fact is that Mr Sangay Rumba and his associates have actually stoned the residence of one GJMM leader, Mr Padam Bahadur Rumba late last night. “When the GNLF supporters attacked his house only the women members of his family were present. We have no idea who attacked the residence of Mr Sangay Rumba. But no GJMM activist was involved in it,” he added. Interestingly, Mr Sangay Rumba and Mr Padam Bahadur Rumba are brothers.
Kurseong SDPO, Mr Nima Narbu Bhutia, said that the incident was a sequel of inter-party rivalry involving the GJMM and the GNLF. “The residence of the GNLF leader was partially damaged. A car and a two-wheeler were torched. When we arrived at the spot fire was billowing out of the house and the vehicles. We summoned the fire brigade and extinguished the fire with their assistance,” he said.
He said that both the parties had lodged FIRs against each other. “We have not yet arrested anybody. The probe has started,” he said. A large contingent of police has been deployed in the area in view of the prevailing tension.
-statesman news service