ALSO READGovt offices vandalised as GJM calls for indefinite bandh in Darjeeling Gorkhaland: GJM on indefinite strike in Darjeeling, want tourists to leave Indefinite strikes to start in Darjeeling demanding a separate 'Gorkhaland' Darjeeling bandh: GJM supporters set ablaze, shut govt offices; 3 arrested Normalcy limps back to Darjeeling amid uncertainty
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 Chowbazar 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 June 12. 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 on Tuesday. 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 yesterday. 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 various entry exit points of the hills while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizeable number of women police personnel were deployed. The Centre yesterday 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.