As the strike called by the Gorkha Janmulti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling enters its ninth day, the hill region in West Bengal remained largely calm on Tuesday. The GJM leaders have called for a meeting today with all the political parties in the hills to decide on the next course of action. The strike, which began as a protest against the Mamata Banerjee government’s announcement of making Bengali mandatory in schools, catapulted into renewed demands of a separate state of Gorkhaland. There were several reports of clashes between the protesters and police forces since the strike began, and three people lost their lives in the violence.
Security forces were patrolling the streets and internet services remained suspended for the third day today. Normal life remained paralysed and all shops except medicine were closed.
Owing to the ongoing protests, thousands of students studying in residential schools in the region are stranded and the school authorities are worried that they will run out of food stocks very soon. Click here to read the full report
The Darjeeling unrest finds support from the tea plantation workers and there’s a long history to that. Click here to read more
According to reports, the unrest in Darjeeling, which has caused problems for tourists, has given a boost to tourism activity in Sikkim. “The tension in Darjeeling has led to a sudden boom in the tourism industry here,” Secretary, Sikkim Tourism, C Zangpo was quoted as saying by PTI. Click here to read the full report
Meanwhile, CM Mamata Banerjee has appealed for peace in the region. “Violence cannot be a solution to any problem and only talks can solve it,” Banerjee told reporters at the airport on Monday before leaving for the Netherlands to speak on the occasion of UN Public Service Day on June 23.
Mamata, who will not attend the all-party meeting, said: “Though I will not be there, other ministers have been given the responsibility to hold the all-party meeting.”