Gorkha activists prevent Bengal Minister to visit Panighata, burn tourist booth, stop generation of power

Gorkha activists prevent Bengal Minister to visit Panighata, burn tourist booth, stop generation of power


Darjeeling/Siliguri: Tension ran high at Panighata today with Gorkha activists burning tyres and setting up stonewall on highway to thwart the proposed visit of State Tourism Minister Gautam Deb to attend Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta's birth anniversary at Mirik as shutdown in Darjeeling Hills entered the 32nd day. Elsewhere, suspected miscreants torched a tourists' assistance booth and stopped power generation of several vital hydel power projects. Senior officials on anonymity said barring 160-mw Kalijhora Hydel Project at lower Teesta, most of the power projects - like 52-mw Ramman, 132-mw Rambhi, 32-mw Jaldhaka and several mini and micro hydel projects were forced to stop operation apprehending casualty and property damage. Darjeeling district has many major and mini hydel projects of the State Government and NHPC with total capacity of some 584-mw production daily. " But right now production comes to even one-third in the peak season and any time the region may plunge into darkness because most of the power is fed to the national grid, " the officials said. " Some 500/600 people armed with weapons came on Wednesday and warned us if we do not stop and desert the hydel projects, all will be burnt. Fearing damage of national property and human lives, we all deserted the projects, " they said. Some of the NHPC projects have CISF around the operation areas but the people will have to come from villages and now they feared for their lives. " Yesterday literally all the employees like operators, drivers and technicians were shepherd from the project areas," they added. Suspected Gorkha activist at wee hours today torched the iconic tourists' assistance booth at Mall in Darjeeling town, which sent a strong signal that the visitors and outsiders won't not allowed till the statehood demand was conceded by the Union Government. West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb, who was scheduled to preside over the 203rd Bhanu Jayanti at Panighata in Mirik, was forced to return to Bangdhubi despite heavy security bandobast and held a hurriedly organised Nepali poet's birth anniversary celebration in the Army ground. The Gorkha activists set up stonewall on the highway and burnt old and used tyres to prevent the visit of the Minister. There the Gorkha activists were celebrating the occasion with Khukri, a traditional weapon of the ethnic Gorkhas.

Share it
Top