Kolkata: Following the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s (GJM) 12-hour strike against proposal to make Bengali language compulsory in government schools, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation will now run buses from Siliguri to Kolkata, every two hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The Bagdogra Airport to remain open from 5 a.m. onward to allow passengers inside terminal building,” Bagdogra Airport Director, R. Sahay said.
Two Army columns have been deployed in the town on the request of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to maintain law and order situation. Each column consists an officer, two JCOs and 40 jawans.
The Chief Minister took the decision to seek Centre’s help in an emergency meeting held at Rajbhawan in which 30 ministers and delegates, including Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, participated.
The meeting was convened following the violent protests across Darjeeling earlier in the day after Mamata announced that Bengali would be compulsorily taught to students up to class 10 in schools.
Police vehicles and a government bus were set afire and the police were attacked with stones and bottles by the GJM protesters.
A protest rally was taken out by the protesters only 100 metres away from the venue of the meeting. The protesters shouted slogans and burnt effigies of the chief minister. The GJM has announced 12-hour bandh against the State government’s move.
The GJM has been demanding Nepali as a language instead of Bengali or can accept Hindi, but is strictly against the making of Bengali mandatory in all schools across the state.