The normal life in the world famous hill station Darjeeling came to halt due to the continue violence and arson on Monday, the first day of an indefinite bandh that was called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in protest against the recent education policy announced by Mamta Banerjee government.
The GJM is also protesting against, what it calls, the state government’s “attempt” to impose Bengali on the Nepali-speaking people of the region, even though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ruled out any such plans for the hills.
Amid massive security arrangements, sporadic incidents of violence marked the early hours of the indefinite strike in Darjeeling and its surrounding areas.
However the areas, where important government offices are located have been put under heavy security cover, despite of that GJM supporters reportedly set ablaze a several govt offices.
Early on Monday, the Block Development office (BDO) in Darjeeling’s Bijanbari was torched, allegedly by a group of GJM activists.
Amid rising tension, GJM president Bimal Gurun has warned tourists asking them to leave Darjeeling immediately.
Bimal Gurung said, “The situation is turning worse, and anything can happen. The tourists must understand this. If they wish to stay back, they may do so at their own risk. I appeal to them to leave.”
Bimal Gurung is an elected member of the Gorkha Territorial Administration, which is an autonomous body for governance of what is called Gorkha region of West Bengal.
Meanwhile, the famous toy train service in Darjeeling was kept shut considering the possible security threats to the tourists.
“All central and state government offices, banks, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration offices are closed during the bandh. B
Educational institutions, transport and tourism — hotels, restaurants and shops — have been kept out
Six columns of the Army have been deployed in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong towns since Thursday.