Protest marches in Darjeeling as shutdown enters 10th day

Elected members of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) belonging to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which is leading the stir, resigned en masse yesterday

By: PTI | Darjeeling | Published:June 24, 2017 1:00 pm
Darjeeling Shutdown, Darjeeling Bandh, Darjeeling Protest March, Bimal Gurung, GJM, Gorkha Janmurti Morcha, Darjeeling Gorkha Protest, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express News The party decided to burn copies of the GTA Accord, reached in 2011 between the Union home ministry, the West Bengal government and the GJM, on June 26 and 27 (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

Protesters marched through the streets in several places today as the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills entered its tenth day with GJM chief Bimal Gurung threatening to intensify the agitation for a separate state. Internet services were suspended for the seventh day and local cable channels remained blocked in certain parts of the hills.

Elected members of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) belonging to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which is leading the stir, resigned en masse yesterday. The party decided to burn copies of the GTA Accord, reached in 2011 between the Union home ministry, the West Bengal government and the GJM, on June 26 and 27.

Gurung, who surfaced in public yesterday, addressed the media at the party’s stronghold at Patlebas and threatened to “fight till the end” for their one point agenda of Gorkhaland. Students stranded at several boarding schools were evacuated yesterday after the GJM gave a 12-hour window till 6 pm to allow them to leave the hills safely.

A case of murder, arson, assault on police personnel and conspiracy to incite violence was filed against Gurung and his wife Asha on June 17. The Calcutta High Court has directed that notice be served on Gurung by all means possible in view of a PIL challenging the indefinite bandh called by the party in Darjeeling.

Gurung said talks were on with the central government and was hopeful of “positive results”. The West Bengal government yesterday offered a dialogue to defuse the crisis with Home Secretary Malay De saying that the doors of the government were “open for talks to restore normalcy in the hills”.

It also sent a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh protesting Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling support of GJM’s demand for a separate Gorkhaland state and said it was “unconstitutional”.

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  1. T
    The Observer
    Jun 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm
    The atomosphere in Darjeeling is becoming worst. Both side is showing rigid stance. GJM is not ready to start dialouge process and continuing strike in the Hill. West Bengal administration , also in a mood to punish Gurung and other GJM members. In this situation people of Darjeeling is facing enormous problem. It appears that WB administration under the leadership of Mamata has imposed an emergency like situation on the people of Darjeeling by blocking internet services, by police raids, by issuing police warrants against Gurung and their leaders, deploying paramilitary forces etc. As if a war is going on. Three Gorkaland supporters are already killed. It further complicate the situation. At the same time Center is keeping mum and sending forces as and when reuested by WB administration. But Center should take lead and initiate the dialouge process. This is a vital issue and BJP should not expect to have a political gain from this.
    Reply