Darjeeling: Darjeeling has turned into a battleground following violent protests by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leaders. A complete shutdown for 12 hours has been called which has left hundreds of tourists stranded. Huge contingents of army personnel and RAF has been deployed to take control of the situation.
Amidst the pandemonium in the otherwise quaint Queen of Hills, locals turned Samaritans. Often we choose to forego their endearing efforts to reach out the distressed victims. A snap captured by The Darjeeling Chronicle shows how the Army is being provided with food stock by the locals.
They see it as a token of respect to the Army who is elsewhere targeted during strife. Lauding the contributions of the Army, Darjeeling locals commemorated their service with whatever little they could provide. Almost every household in Darjeeling has a member serving in the Army, so they are always regarded in high esteem.
Earlier, they were spotted offering food to the stranded tourists. The locals claimed that they were not against the Bengali tourists as they make a living out of tourism, but were against Mamata Banerjee and her policy.
Darjeeling saw a stir on Thursday after supporters of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) protested against WB CM Mamata’s announcement to introduce Bengali language in schools. The protest turned violent leading to the government taking strong steps like deploying the Army, withdrawing bodyguards of GJM chief Bimal Gurung and filing an FIR against him.
The army had staged flag marches in Darjeeling on Thursday, and was also deployed in Kurseong and Kalimpong on Friday as a precautionary measure. Three columns of the Central Reserve Police Force have also been deployed in these places.
Mamata, who decided on Thursday night to stay back in Darjeeling till peace is restored, said the 12-hour strike called by GJM was “illegal”.