Pro-Gorkhaland activists took out rallies in Darjeeling as security forces maintained tight vigil across the hills today — the 31st day of the indefinite shutdown for a separate state. No incident of violence or arson was reported by the police this morning, but the hills remained on the edge, a day after agitators went on a rampage, setting afire an RPF office, a state-run library and a police outpost here.
With the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the spearhead of the statehood agitation, planning rallies today in various places, the police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and kept a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes.
Except medical shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed. Meanwhile, the district administration has extended the ban on internet services till July 25. The ban was imposed on June 18. With food supply severely hit due to the indefinite strike, which entered the 31st day today, the GJM and various NGOs of the hills distributed food items among people.
The hills witnessed violence despite continued deployment of three columns of the Army in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sonada. The picturesque hill station had earlier witnessed a 40-day bandh in 1988 and a 44-day shutdown in 2013.