In a fresh development, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Thursday extended his support for a separate Gorkhaland state even as the GJM-sponsored shutdown in Darjeeling hills entered the eighth day today, as reported by PTI. In fact, on Tuesday, Sikkim’s ruling party SDF had extended its support to the demand for a separate Gorkhaland. In a meeting conducted by the SDF leadership earlier on Tuesday, it was decided that they will extend support for a separate state at the same time expressed its opposition to the “illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional” acts committed in Darjeeling.
Meanwhile, ambulance services were hit and TV cable connections snapped in some areas today but no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in Darjeeling which had witnessed widespread clashes between GJM activists and security forces on Saturday. Also Read: Darjeeling unrest: GJM bandh enters eighth day
There were reports that some ambulance operators refused to carry patients due to fear of harassment. Since today morning, cable TV connections were snapped in a section of the hills. Internet services also remained suspended for the fifth day today to stop the spread of rumours that incite violence.
Police patrolling was intensified in the hills since morning.
Although the West Bengal government has called an all-party meeting in Siliguri on Thursday, all the Hills parties have decided to boycott it. As normal life continued to be crippled, the GJM on Wednesday offered a 12-hour “window” on June 23 to schools to evacuate students safely to Siliguri and Rongpo.
In a separate development, police has lodged a case against GJM supremo Bimal Gurung and his wife Asha for their alleged involvement in violence, arson and killing of one person during clashes. In a statement to PTI, a senior police official was quoted as saying: “We have lodged a case (against Gurung and his wife) and the investigation is on. There were allegation that they were involved in the violence, arson and killing of one person during clashes on Saturday.”
The GJM is leading an agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of West Bengal.