Darjeeling limping back to normal amid uncertainty


Darjeeling, June 11: Life returned to normal in the northern West Bengal hills with no violence reported so far on Sunday, but uncertainty prevails as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called an indefinite shutdown from Monday.

The tourists, who are still in the picturesque tourist town, are planning to leave the place from Sunday.

According to GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri, all central and state government offices including block development offices, sub-divisional offices and district magistrate offices, banks, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (the hill development body) offices will be closed as a part of the shutdown from Monday.

However, schools and colleges, transport and tourism – hotels, eateries, shops – will be outside the purview of the shutdown.

“There is an uncertainty. We do not know what would happen from Monday even though GJM said tourism will not fall in the purview of shutdown. We are planning to leave for Siliguri in the afternoon. Some tourists are also going to Sikkim,” a tourist said here.

Several tourists from Darjeeling reached Kolkata on Sunday morning.

After the GJM’s central committee meeting chaired by its President Bimal Gurung on Saturday, the party leaders threw a virtual challenge to the Mamata Banerjee-led state government to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Giri said the state government’s revenue sources like electricity, mines and boulders will also be part of the shutdown.

After the clash between police and GJM supporters, the district police launched a search operation.

Five GJM activists have been arrested so far, according to a police official of Darjeeling Sadar police station.

The army patrolling in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong towns was not seen on Sunday morning.


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