Gorkhaland protests, Day 44: Uneasy calm settles over Darjeeling as security forces keep tight vigil
Normal life remained crippled in the Darjeeling hills due to the indefinite shutdown, called by pro-Gorkhaland activists, which on Friday entered its 44th day
Darjeeling: Normal life remained crippled in the Darjeeling hills due to the indefinite shutdown, called by pro-Gorkhaland activists, which on Friday entered its 44th day, equalling the duration of a similar stir in 2013.
The situation in the picturesque north Bengal town, which had witnessed violence at the onset of the agitation, remained peaceful on Friday, according to police sources.
Except for medicine shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed.
The ban on internet services, which was imposed on 18 June, has already been extended by the district administration till 4 August.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) had on 15 June launched the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of West Bengal.
GJM supporters took out rallies at Chowkbazar area during the day amid patrolling by police and security forces.
Police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and kept a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes.
GJM workers and various NGOs of the hills were also seen distributing food items among the people as food supply has been severely hit due to the indefinite shutdown.
The agitation this year equalised the 44-day shutdown in 2013 by GJM over the statehood issue.
Interestingly, both parties are mocking each other about the internal squabbles. Babul Supriyo, former minister in the Narendra Modi government who recently switched to the TMC, said he left the BJP because of the 'dirty infighting'
The Mamata Banerjee-led party is fighting the polls for the 40-member Assembly in alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party
The move came days after Mitra took to social media to air his grievances against the party's style of functioning