Gorkhland: Masked cowards attack Mirik BDO Office
Calcutta, Aug. 9: The rented home of the Mirik block development officer was stoned early morning yesterday – the first attack targeting a state government official during the current phase of the Gorkhaland agitation.
Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said: “Certain anti-socials are indulging in activities to defame the party and we condemn such acts.”
Six armed policemen have been posted at Amitabha Bhattacharya’s residence following the attack.
The BDO, who stays with his seven-year-old daughter and wife at Thana Line in ward III of Mirik municipality, said the attack had taken place between 1am and 1.10am on Tuesday.
“I stay at a rented house as I don’t have an official quarter. We have two bedrooms and we generally sleep in one which is close to a pathway. But on Monday night, we decided to sleep in the other bedroom,” the BDO said today.
The official said he had a security guard who was not normally kept at the residence at night.
“Between 1am and 1.10am, some people threw stones, including a boulder, at my house. One stone shattered windowpanes of the bedroom adjacent to the pathway, while another landed on the bed,” Bhattacharya said over the phone.
The BDO’s home is about 500m from Mirik police station.
The official, who is a resident of Naihati in North 24 Parganas believed that he was targeted probably because his office was functioning when an indefinite strike was being enforced across the hills.
“Every day, about 2,000 to 3,000 people bring out rallies in the area where my office in located and there are speeches asking why the BDO’s office is open. They probably want to prevent us from joining work,” Bhattacharya said.
The attack on the BDO’s residence has left a section officials worried in the hills.
“Many of us are still staying in the hills with our families and facing a double trouble. On one hand, there is an undercurrent of insecurity, particularly among our family members as bandh supporters are completely against the state as it has become evident with consistent incidents of arson and ransacking of government offices. On the other hand, we cannot afford to take leave as there are strict instructions from the government,” an official posted in Kurseong said.
A vehicle carrying newspapers from Siliguri to Darjeeling was torched at Zero Point in Kurseong early this morning. There was also an attempt to attack another vehicle with newspapers at the same spot in the morning but the driver managed to speed away.
A truck, loaded with food grains, was set on fire at Hanuman Jhora area on NH10 last night. Police said the truck bore no number plate and was going uphill.
[Source: The Telegraph]