“Our boarders have left school, they have been handed over to their parents in Siliguri. Our school is scheduled to reopen on July 3. We are in touch with the parents. We will dothe needful according to the prevailing situation,” said Father Shajumon.
Condemning the move, GJM’s assistant general secretary Binay Tamang said: “The police and the chief minister are responsible for the deaths of our cadres." Three people were killed in police firing in West Bengal.
Thousands of children study in several residential schools of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Besides other parts of India, many of these students come from Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong and Bhutan.
GJM’s assistant general secretary Binay Tamang on Wednesday said that school students will be allowed to leave the hills from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday. But he clarified that no other vehicle will be allowed to leave the town, as the bandh will go on.
As police lathicharged at the rally of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s (GJM’s) women’s wing, who braved the drizzle, the area in front of party office here became a war zone. Bottles, mostly drained of alcohol, were lobbed at the police who retaliated with tear gas shells.
In 2009, youths from different parts of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and other areas were chosen by GJM to set up a trained force. Physical fitness and a minimum education of up to Class VIII were the criteria for joining the unit.
West Bengal Police recovered a huge cache of arrows, large number of crackers, one country-made pistol, Khukris, axes and cash. Following the raid, GJM Central Committee announced an indefinite strike in the hills.
The GNLF, which has been spearheading the ongoing protests against “forcible imposition of Bengali language” on people in the Hills, asked the GJM to resign from the assembly and all government bodies.
“If we wanted, we could have brought thousands of workers to the streets and shut down government offices. We should show restraint. We want the Centre to intervene immediately (on Gorkhaland)," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said
While GJM on Sunday announced an indefinite shutdown of all government offices in the hills from Monday to push its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland, Banerjee said, “We have compromised a lot, and it seems we have our back against the wall now.”
“While trouble was going on, I had briefed the Union Home Minister and our MP. I told them about the situation here and the atrocities which were committed against us,” said Gurung at Patlaybas near Darjeeling.