DARJEELING: Normal life was disrupted in the Darjeeling Hills on Saturday due to an indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) to press for the demand for a separate Gorkhaland on the lines of Telangana.
All shops, markets, schools, colleges, government and private offices, banks, post offices remained closed in the towns in Darjeeling hills and vehicles remained off the roads.
There was no report of any fresh violence since the beginning of the strike at 6 am as one battalion of CRPF was posted in various parts of the town. Women CRPF personnel were also deployed.
GJM workers were seen checking all vehicles that plied with emergency signs pasted on them.
The sources said normal work was, however, on at tea and cinchona gardens in the Darjeeling hills.
Meanwhile, the six-member GJM team that is in Delhi contacted several MPs and apprised them of the Gorkhaland statehood demand, which has gained momentum since the UPA’s nod to the creation of Telangana.
They also tried to meet AICC general secretary Ambika Soni, party sources said.
Meanwhile, GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the death of the party’s trade union leader Saroj Tamang yesterday.
“TMC wants to tarnish GJM’s image in the Darjeeling Hills,” he said.
Tamang’s body had been found on a road, 8 kms from Darjeeling town, yesterday.
TMC leader in Darjeeling, Rajen Mukhia, said the party never wanted violence in the hills. “We are peaceful,” he maintained.
Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal said one person was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Pokhriabong fire incident in which a police outpost was set on fire and a homeguard injured on Thursday, taking the total number of those arrested in the Hills to six.
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