Darjeeling unrest: ‘Will not allow division of Bengal,’ asserts Mamata; GJM to continue with indefinite strike

Darjeeling has been witnessing an indefinite shut down for over two weeks now. The demonstrations had begun on June 9 as protesters took to streets when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held her first Cabinet meeting in the Hills.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 29, 2017 7:44 pm
Mamata banerjee, West Bengal chief minister, west bengal division, gorkhaland, darjeeling protest West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File Photo)

Amid ongoing protests in Darjeeling spearheaded by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) demanding a separate Gorkhaland, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday asserted that she will not allow the division of the state, news agency PTI reported.

Meanwhile, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Thursday announced that they will continue with ongoing indefinite strike in Darjeeling, after an all party meeting in Kalimpong. Darjeeling has been witnessing an indefinite shut down for over two weeks now. The demonstrations had begun on June 9 as protesters took to streets when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held her first Cabinet meeting in Darjeeling.

The state had, in response, requisitioned the Army on the same day. The agitators have been demanding the creation of a separate state by the name Gorkhaland leading to violent protests and unrest in the region.

On Wednesday, the Indian Army had confirmed that they had withdrawn from Darjeeling. “Army has been derequisitioned from Darjeeling and adjacent areas on June 24. The troops are not deployed in aid of civil administration any more,” the Army’s Eastern Command issued a statement yesterday.

The situation in the region seemed to have calmed down prior to a meeting involving all pro-Gorkhaland Hill parties on Thursday. The paramilitary forces continue to patrol areas as several smaller rallies are still being taken out. Meanwhile, internet services still remain suspended as the ‘situation of emergency continues’, Darjeeling DM Joyshree Dasgupta claimed. Dasgupta extended the suspension till June 30 over fears of “unsubstantiated information” being circulated to incite violence. This has affected the students in the region who have not been able to fill college admission forms.

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