Darjeeling: With supplies drying up and the indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills entering its 27th day on Tuesday, all eyes are set on the all-party meeting scheduled to be held later in the day in Mirik area of the hills.
The all-party meeting, convened by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), will be attended by all political parties of the hills.
The meeting was scheduled to be held on 18 July but was advanced to 11 July following the violence in the hills on last Saturday.
Many hill parties are in favour of relaxing the shutdown for few days as the supplies of food and essentials have dried up due to the indefinite strike, Jan Andolan Party (JAP) officials said.
A section of hill parties want the GJM to sit for the tripartite talks.
This is the fourth such meeting in 27 days. The first, second and the third all-party meetings were held on 20 June, 29 June and 6 July respectively.
The GJM took out a huge rally in Mirik demanding the formation of new Gorkhaland state. Incidentally, GJM had lost Mirik municipality to Trinamool Congress in the municipal polls held in May.
Police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a vigil on the entry and exit routes. While Internet services remained snapped for the last 24 days, all shops barring pharmacies, schools and colleges remained closed.
An Indian Army column, comprising around 50 personnel, was deployed in Kalimpong on Monday night, defence officials had said.
Two columns of the Army have already been positioned in Darjeeling and Sonada on Saturday after large-scale violence and arson took place there.