Gorkhaland protest: Shutdown enters seventh day, normal life crippled in Darjeeling

Darjeeling: Normal life continued to be crippled while internet services remained suspended on Wednesday, the seventh day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown.

GJM supporters burn an effigy of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling. PTI

GJM supporters burn an effigy of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling. PTI

The police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and police pickets were placed at the entry and exit routes of Darjeeling.

Except pharmacies, all other shops, hotels and restaurants remained closed. An all-party meeting convened by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Tuesday had passed a resolution that the shutdown would continue until security forces were withdrawn.

The GJM, spearheading the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland, also decided to withdraw from the tripartite accord on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). There were reports of some tea garden workers being beaten up by GJM supporters in Naxalbari area, 65 km from Darjeeling. GJM, however, denied the reports.

The GJM took out small rallies in various parts of the hills demanding a separate state. Internet services remained suspended for the fourth day in the hills. Locals termed it as an "oppressive step against a democratic movement".

The parties, which attended Tuesday's meeting, also decided not to participate in the all-party meet called by the West Bengal government on 22 June to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills.

GJM spokesperson T Arjun had told reporters after the meeting that it was also decided that an all-party coordination committee would be formed which would soon send a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press for the demand for Gorkhaland.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 13:23 PM

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