Complete shutdown in Darjeeling

The indefinite bandh imposed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha completely shut down the hills on Saturday while Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung ruled out any talks with the Mamata Banerjee government. Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong looked like ghost towns. Five companies of Central paramilitary forces, including one company of female forces, reached the hills and started route marches and patrolling. A company each of CRPF was deployed in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and the national highway to Sikkim. The all-women company of CRPF is to be deployed in Darjeeling Sadar area.
The GJM leadership has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to pursue their goal: Gorkhaland. A five-member delegation led by party general secretary Roshan Giri is camping in Delhi to mobilise political support for their demand. In Darjeeling, Mr Gurung launched a series of agitations. Zealous supporters of the GJM’s women’s wing took out processions chanting slogans.
In a unique political agitation, two dozen bare-bodied members of the GJM’s youth wing rolled down on the road of Darjeeling town to press for their Gorkhaland demand. The Centre’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh and grant Telangana has clearly galvanised GJM supporters who are confident that their dream of a separate homeland would come true. The GJM is ready for a showdown with the state government.
“We can hold talks with the Centre but not with the Bengal government. The chief minister always tries to bully us,” Mr Gurung claimed, adding that the deployment of Central forces was meant to crush their movement. The GJM had at one point decided to go for only a four-day long bandh due to Id. GJM workers stormed into the plant, which is under the West Bengal State Electricity Development Company Limited, and stopped production. At Writers’ Buildings, the chief minister said that her government would deal with the situation in the hills with a firm hand.
Meanwhile, GJM supporter Mangal Rajput, who had tried to immolate himself on July 30, succumbed to his burn injuries in a Siliguri hospital on Saturday. His body was being taken to Kalimpong.

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