Normal life continued to be crippled while Internet services remained suspended on the seventh day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown on Wednesday. The police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and police pickets were placed at the entry and exit routes of Darjeeling. Except pharmacies, all other shops, hotels and restaurants remained closed. An all-party meeting convened by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Tuesday had passed a resolution that the shutdown would continue until security forces were withdrawn. The GJM, spearheading the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland, also decided to withdraw from the tripartite accord on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
There were reports of some tea garden workers being beaten up by GJM supporters in Naxalbari area, 65 km from Darjeeling. GJM, however, denied the reports.
The GJM took out small rallies in various parts of the hills demanding a separate state.
Internet services remained suspended for the fourth day in the hills. Locals termed it as an “oppressive step against a democratic movement.”
The parties, which attended on Tuesday’s meeting, also decided not to participate in the June 22 all-party meet called by the West Bengal government to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills.
GJM spokesperson T Arjun had told reporters after the meeting that it was also decided that an all-party coordination committee would be formed which would soon send a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press for the demand for Gorkhaland.