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Councillor Barun Bhujel dies in judicial custody, Bimal calls people to hit the streets

Barun Bhujel kalimpong Councillor dies
Barun Bhujel, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (leader and councillor from Kalimpong, who was arrested in June, passed away at SSKM Hospital Wednesday morning. Family members of Barun Bhujel alleged there was a delay in his treatment that resulted in his death.  GJM chief Bimal Gurung, on the other hand, alleged that police torture led to his death and called on people to hit the streets in protest. Gurung appealed to the people to observe a day of mourning and also called for schools and colleges to remain shut.

“He had chronic liver problem and pancreatitis. When he was brought to SSKM hospital, his condition was very bad. He was admitted to the ICU. Post-mortem is being done,” said Manimoy Bandpadhyay, superintendent, SSKM Hospital.

Bhujel was arrested in June 16 in connection with violence in Darjeeling during the 104 days strike demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland. He was close to Gurung.

It is learnt that Bhujel complained of ill health and stomach ache while he was in Siliguri jail. He was admitted in North Bengal state general hospital where his condition deteriorated. He was then taken to SSKM hospital in Kolkata. His family members were informed about his death around 2.45 am. He is survived by his wife and two children.

“There was a delay in his treatment. In jail,he kept complaining about his ill health but authorities did not pay attention. Then he was admitted in a hospital in Siliguri, where only pain killers were given to him,” Bharat Bhujel, Barun’s father, told The Indian Express.

“Later when his condition deteriorated he was transferred to SSKM hospital in Kolkata. There we got to know that he had developed several ailments including pancreatitis. For the last few days he was on ventilator. We were informed at around 2.45 that he passed away. Had he been given treatment at the proper time he would have not died,” said Bharat Bhujel.

Meanwhile, GJM chief Gurung called on people of the Hills to hit the streets in protest, in an audio message released immediately after Bhujel’s death. “Our brother Barun was one of the first to be arrested by police from Kalimpong. I mourn his death and respect his supreme sacrifice for the fight for Gorkhaland. I offer my condolences to his family members. It was police torture which ultimately led to his death,” Gurung said.
“I call upon all Gorkha brothers and sisters to hit the streets in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Terai and Dooars. Gorkhas all over should protest against such human rights violations through protests and social media. I appeal to everyone to observe a day of mourning,” Gurung added.

With Indianexpress input

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