Gorkha Janmukti Morcha sponsored shutdown of government offices begin in Darjeeling

Jane Richards
June 13, 2017

"We can talk to people to restore peace and normality but there is no question of any compromise with those who use bombs and stones and resort to bandhs to hide their own failures", the CM said at the Uttarkanya secretariat in Siliguri, 24 hours after she hit the streets of Darjeeling, stomping about in the very zones that were taken over by GJM supporters dur-ing Thursday's violence.

The protests called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha escalated on Tuesday as police baton-charged protesters in Darjeeling, West Bengal.

Earlier in the day, Gurung asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to do or promote "divisive" politics in the state. "They had threatened that they would not let me enter the Hills. The experience was bitter and we lived in fear and could not visit any tourist spot", a tourist said.

"We could have enforced the bandh but we have not done that". Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and GTA offices while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed. Police said eight GJM activists were detained for allegedly trying to set fire to the Block Development Office at Phulbazar in Bijanbari block.

"We will appeal to the people not to cooperate with the state government". "We want Central intervention. Every year hundreds of youth from the hills join the Indian Army", he said. Supporting his stance, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh alleged that the government was not interested in solving the issues being dealt with in the region, adding that the violence witnessed is a result of forced interference by Mamata. It is taking away so much resources from the hills and what are the people of the hills getting?

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Five GJM activists have been arrested so far, according to a police official of Darjeeling Sadar police station.

The GJM leadership, on the other hand, accused the police of "resorting to unprovoked lathi charge" on its supporters during the "peaceful procession".

Giri, however, denied his party's involvement in it and said that it was an attempt to defame the GJM.

Banks will remain open on Mondays and Thursdays. The GJM has kept educational institutions, transport and hotels out of the purview of the shutdown.

"We have chose to leave Darjeeling after GJM's warning to tourists". "Our party chief has written to the prime minister and Union home minister to sympathetically consider our demand (for Gorkhaland)", Giri, whose party is an ally of the Centre's ruling NDA, said. Asking all employees to report for duty regularly, the state government made it clear no leave will be granted till the strike is withdrawn.

Other reports by VgToday

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