Darjeeling bandh: GJM offers 12-hour 'window' to schools to evacuate students

Normal life continued to remain affected in Darjeeling due to the ongoing indefinite strike, called by regional groups demanding separate "Gorkhaland", on Wednesday.

Except pharmacies, all other shops, hotels and restaurants remained closed. However, the protestors of GJM were seen carrying posters.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Wednesday offered a 12-hour window on June 23 to various schools in the Darjeeling hills to evacuate their students to Siliguri and Rongpo, The Indian Express reported. "We used to have one exam a day, after the strike, we are forced to take two exams a day".

In an all-party meeting convened by the GJM on Tuesday, a resolution was passed wherein it was decided that the shutdown would continue until security forces were withdrawn. It was also decided that the GJM would withdraw from the tripartite accord on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). GJM and other parties alleged that government is violating the right to share information. "We are protesting against the police brutality that has been inflicted on the people of the hills as well as against the state government", said Shankar Adhikari, a GJM leader.

Even as the indefinite strike called by GJM entered into its eighth day yesterday, Mamata Banerjee left for her netherlands visit.

There were reports of some tea garden workers being beaten up by GJM supporters in Naxalbari area, 65 km from Darjeeling.GJM, however, denied the reports. Moreover, all 14 influential political parties and public organisations in the region unanimously declared their support to the longstanding demand for a separate Gorkhaland state in North Bengal. In an apparent reference to Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia, who is also a minister at the Centre, Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee accused him of "fomenting trouble in the hills" and demanded his resignation.

  • Leroy Wright