Violence reigned supreme over the last couple of weeks as Darjeeling, the much-loved colonial hill station getaway for eastern Indian travellers; remain under the smoke of strife, strikes and a long withstanding demand of a new Gorkhaland.
Reeling under protests, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Tuesday called for an all-party meeting in Darjeeling today to discuss the future course of political turmoil following a fresh clash as the Morcha supporters hurled stones at the security forces in the troubled state. "As far as I know, a central team will visit Darjeeling soon to assess the current political situations and to hold talks with the GJM leadership", a senior BJP leader told ET on Monday preferring anonymity. "They will hurl one or two more bombs and will stop by themselves", she said.
Following the violent protests, extra units of Paramilitary force CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in the state. Police said that eight GJM activists were detained for allegedly trying to set fire to a BDO office at Phulbazar in Bijanbari block. "We want Central intervention". She said the Army was present in the hills as a "backup".
The Trinamool Congress government, on its part, ordered all its employees and those of the institutions receiving grants-in-aid from it to attend office on all days till the agitation continues, warning that absence from duty will be considered a break in service. Supporting his stance, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh alleged that the government was not interested in solving the issues being dealt with in the region, adding that the violence witnessed is a result of forced interference by Mamata.
As their indefinite shutdown entered its second day today, protesters demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland pelted the police with stones at various parts of Darjeeling as they were stopped from enforcing their shutdown in many government offices. The hill people are very good.
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Giri, however, denied his party's involvement in it and said that it was an attempt to defame the GJM. Banks are also included in this complete shutdown, except for on Mondays and Thursdays.
However, Gurung had exempted transport, schools and colleges from the indefinite strike, while he asked people to not join office.
"We have chose to leave Darjeeling after GJM's warning to tourists". Most government offices had reported normal attendance on Monday.
GJM Chief Bimal Gurung tweeted late on Friday night: "I would like to thank the people of Darjeeling and elected members of Darjeeling Municipality who voluntarily served the tourists with food and water while they waited for the bus to go back to Siliguri".
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