JAP claims Morcha attacks drivers and its supporters at Singamari

Darjeeling district magistrate office
The Jana Andolan Party today alleged that drivers of two vehicles carrying its supporters had been attacked by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha members outside the latter's office at Singamari here today at the direction of Bimal Gurung.
The party led by Harka Bahadur Chhetri also said JAP supporters had been manhandled by the employees of the GTA at Lal Kothi later in the day and denied entry to the headquarters of the hill body.
Asked about the two incidents, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: "The allegations are false and they have staged this act to gain sympathy of the public."
Around 40 members of the JAP had come to Darjeeling today by vehicles to submit a memorandum to Darjeeling district magistrate and GTA principal secretary Ravi Inder Singh demanding a three-tier panchayat system in the hills. The supporters alighted from vehicles outside the DM's office along Lebong Cart Road.
Sangdo Lepcha, who was driving one of the vehicles, said: "Since I did not get space to turn and park my vehicle (near the DM's office), I proceeded towards Singamari and reached near the Morcha's office. Six Morcha supporters came from the party office and attacked me. Bimal Gurung was present at the office then and the attack took place at his direction."
The other driver to be allegedly attacked by the Morcha members was Pravin Adhikari. The Telegraph couldn't independently verify if Gurung was present in the Morcha office. The JAP supporters filed an FIR at the Darjeeling Sadar police station.
Chhetri and other senior JAP leaders later went to Lal Kothi - the administrative headquarters of the GTA - to submit the memorandum.
"At Lal Kothi, our supporters were manhandled by the GTA employees manning the gates and even the media were denied entry. Is Lal Kothi a private property of the Morcha? I will definitely lodge a complaint with the hill affair's department," said Chhetri.
Only five JAP leaders were allowed to enter Lal Kothi.
The GTA staff said they were denying admission to the JAP supporters as a directive had come from GTA principal secretary.
About the attack on the drivers, the outgoing Kalimpong MLA said: "They were attacked at Singamari following the directive of Gurung. All Morcha leaders were present in the party office at that time."(TT)

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