Gorkha Janmukti Morcha bandh in Darjeeling, government claims normal attendance

Posted On Tuesday, 13 June 2017 05:46

PTI6 12 2017 000081AThe government offices here recorded "normal" attendance although some stray incidents were reported during Gorkha Janmukti Morcha sponsored indefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills which began today.     

The GJM has called the shutdown in central, state government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration offices in the hills in support of their demand for Gorkhaland.     

State Tourism minister Gautam Deb claimed that attendance in government and GTA offices was normal in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik.     

"The people have defied GJM's diktat and attended office. We hope good sense will prevail on the GJM leadership", he said.     

"The situation is peaceful here and everything is normal. Attendance in schools is also normal. We have taken all precautionary measures to check any untoward incident", Darjeeling District Magistrate Joyoshi Dasgupta told PTI.     

Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and GTA offices while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed, Dasgupta said.     

She said the Army was present in the hills as a "backup".     

"The administration will act as per law if anybody is found forcing others as well as establishments to participate in the bandh", the DM said.     

"The administration will also see that no tourist faces trouble because of the bandh. We will not allow anything or anybody to disturb normal life here in the hills", she said.     

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri claimed that the response to the bandh was good.     

"We could have enforced the bandh but we have not done that. We only appealed to the people," he said, adding "The state government may claim almost cent per cent attendance but that is not the case".    

"We want central intervention. Our party chief has written to the prime minister and Union home minister to sympathetically consider our demand (for Gorkhaland)," Giri said.     

The GJM activists allegedly damaged a panchayat office and a PWD office in the hill and resorted to picketing at some places in Kurseong and Kalimpong.     

Police said that eight GJM activists were detained for allegedly trying to set fire to a BDO office at Phulbazar in Bijanbari block.     

The GJM workers also damaged a PWD office in Darjeeling, the police said, adding that another office at Sonada was damaged.     

News Source: The NewIndian Express


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