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Rallies in favour of the 83-day shutdown for a separate Gorkhaland state and against it were held in various parts of Darjeeling hills today. The two fronts, one led by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) that has been spearheading the protest, and the other by expelled GJM leader Binay Tamang who wants a withdrawal of the shutdown, came face to face near the Darjeeling station. Security personnel and police had to intervene to prevent any untoward incident. A senior police official added that an object suspected to be a bomb was seen near Mirik market. "Bomb squads have been rushed to the spot.
We are looking into whether it is a bomb or something else. We have cordoned the entire area," he said. Though shops and markets today remained open in various parts of Mirik and Kurseong sub-divisions of the Darjeeling hills, some shops which had reopened yesterday after more than two-and-a-half months were closed following alleged threats by GJM activists. Life, however, continued to be paralysed in other parts of the hills with shops and markets closed due to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)-sponsored indefinite shutdown that entered its 83rd day today.