Darjeeling bandh: GJM takes out rallies for separate state, police on high alert
Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM)-led shutdown in the Darjeeling hills entered day three on Wednesday with rallies being taken out to demand a separate Gorkhaland state and police patrolling troubled areas to quell any violence.
Most shops in and around Chowkbazar and Mall Road in the hill town were closed. Police was on high alert with patrolling under way in several areas. No untoward incident was reported till afternoon.
The GJM, along with other hill parties, took out rallies in several areas of the hills demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland. The GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown of government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices in Darjeeling hills began on 12 June.
A GJM procession had marched to several government offices in Chowkbazar area on Tuesday to stop people from reporting for work. GJM supporters had turned violent and pelted stones at the police when they were stopped the previous day. Their call for a separate state of Gorkhaland gained momentum after six other hill parties extended their support to GJM and unanimously passed a resolution demanding a separate state. The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), an ally of the ruling Trinamool Congress, has also backed the demand for a separate state.
Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and GTA offices and at various entry and exit points of the hills while rapid action force (RAF) and a sizeable number of women police personnel were deployed.
The centre on Tuesday also despatched 600 paramilitary personnel to assist the West Bengal government in restoring normalcy in the violence-hit area. It has also sought a detailed report on the situation in the hill district from the state government.