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15 Jun 2017

Tension palpable in Darjeeling as GJM says agitation will intensify

Volatile situation: Security personnel stand guard on a street in Darjeeling during the strike on Wednesday .   | Photo Credit: DIPTENDU DUTT
Shiv Sahay Singh, TH, DARJEELING, JUNE 14, 2017 : Though there seems to be semblance of normalcy in Darjeeling Hills on the third day of shutdown of government offices called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), underlying tension is palpable with a feeling that the situation may turn volatile with slightest provocation.
On Wednesday, schools, colleges and markets remained open in the hills but the sight of a few burnt cars in the narrow lanes of Darjeeling town bore witness to the violence that the hills had seen on June 8 over the demand for Gorkhaland.
The threat of a complete shutdown loomed large with the GJM leadership saying that in future the agitation will not be restricted to government offices and the agitation will continue till the demand of Gorkhaland is achieved.
Meanwhile, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and informed him about the appointment of C. Murugan as the new secretary of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in the backdrop of the ongoing unrest in Darjeeling hills.
GJM’s appeal
While the youth wing of the GJM dared the police and the administration to stop its public rally called for Thursday following which there will be a complete shutdown in the hills, GJM president Bimal Gurung asked the tourists to leave the hills. “How can tourists stay here when the State government is behaving like a dictator. The tourists should change there vision, and understand the situation,” Mr. Gurung said.
Issuing direct threat to government employees attending offices, he said the State government could only protect them in office but could not give them round-the-clock protection.
“You can get jobs tomorrow also after Gorkhaland is formed but what is necessary is to fight for our community,” he said. Undeterred by the deployment of more Army and paramilitary forces, the GJM president said the State could requisition as much security forces as it want but there was no stopping the movement.
Joint demand
The GJM leadership is considering the joint demand made by six political parties of the hills for Gorkhaland as a major political success. Hundreds of security personnel led by Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi laid siege to Kanchangunja Public School at Patleybas.
(With PTI inputs)

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