West Bengal Tourism minister Gautam Deb today said that the present unrest in Darjeeling was against the interest of the people of the hills as the agitation was being staged during full tourist season.
"It is a movement against the people of the hills, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha resorted to this violent agitation during full tourist season," the tourism minister said.
"Darjeeling registered a record footfall of domestic and foreign tourists this summer," he said.
Darjeeling town and other destinations in the hills, which were overflowing with tourists till last week, wore a deserted look today.
"We hope they will call off the agitation in the interest of the local people," Deb, also a Trinamool Congress leader in Siliguri, situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, said.
Deb, who inaugurated a daily Volvo bus service by the state tourism department from here to Siliguri to facilitate travellers, said, "This is the beginning of the end of unrest in Darjeeling."
"The general public in the hills are not supporting the agitation. Some elements are trying to disrupt normal life in Darjeeling in an attempt to fish in troubled waters," Deb said.
"Such attempts will not be successful. Ultimately the hills will become peaceful and it will be long term. The chief minister is dealing with the situation strongly," he said.