Darjeeling: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured completely safety for the tourists who were presently stuck in Darjeeling after GKM’s protests turned violent on Thursday leading to the Army to be called in. At present, with 55 tourists, 2 buses have left from Siliguri to Kolkata. Every 2 hours, buses would be available at the Siliguri bus terminus till 10pm.
Apart from assuring complete safety to the tourists, Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha party and supporters for spreading violence and as a result driving away the ‘lakshmi’ tourists. She accused that only 3-4 people were responsible for the entire violence. Mamata also strictly said that the government will not tolerate bandhs for no reason. The law will take its own course.
Chief Minister Mamata assured the stranded tourists that a helpline number at the DGMo has been setup. 8-9 special bus services have been arranged by the government from the Tenzing Norgay bus stands where services have already begun from 6am. 4-5 Bus services have been arranged from 11am which will go till Siliguri from where the tourists will get direct bus service to Kolkata.
On Thursday, GJM called for a 12 hour strike to be held on Friday protesting against CM Mamata’s decision to make Bengali language as a compulsory subject. GJM’s protest 300 km outside Raj Bhavan, where cabinet meeting was underway, turned violent with the supporters pelting stones at the police after trying to break the barricade. The police, in turn, resorted to baton charge, tear gas shells. Several members from both side were injured. CM Mamata called in the Army to handle the situation. An FIR was lodged against GJM leader Bimal Gurung late at Thursday night.