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Bandh for Gorkhaland paralyses Darjeeling
June 17, 2008 11:34 IST
Normal life in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district was paralysed on Tuesday as the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha enforced a second spell of indefinite bandh in the area, to press for its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Shops, markets, business establishments, banks and post offices were closed and vehicles remained off the roads after the bandh resumed from 6 pm on Monday after a five-day break.
The National highway 31A, linking Sikkim's capital Gangtok with Siliguri, was blocked by GJM activists, virtually cutting off the Himalayan state from the rest of the country, officials said.
All state and central government office also remained closed and the heritage Toy Train, a major tourist attraction, did not run. However, there were reports of normal work in tea gardens and schools and collages as these were kept outside the purview of the bandh.
Inspector General of Police (North Bengal), K L Tamta, told PTI that situation in the hills remained peaceful.
The GJM has also announced that it would stage hunger strikes in many places in Siliguri and Dooars from 11 am today, causing concern to the police and administration.
The administration, as a precautionary measure, promulgated prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC in both the areas, which saw clashes between pro and anti-Gorkhaland outfits last week.
General secretary of GJM Roshan Giri told PTI that the GJM would go for the hunger strike, as per the schedule at four places in Siliguri and five places in Dooars, despite the prohibitory order.
"We are not interested in violence and it is up to the police to deal with the situation," Giri said.