Indefinite Strike Declared In Hills

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Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called for an indefinite strike in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts on Saturday, even as chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government would not go for any compromise and deal with those who violated law.

GJM’s central committee met in Malidhura, Patlebas and resolved to initiate the bandh on Monday. “We’ve called an all party meet on June 13. The offices of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration , Bengal govt and central government will be shut from Monday,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told news agency ANI.

They’ve also appealed to the government that all signboards in the hill district be either in Nepali or English. The GJM has been holding demonstrations protesting “imposition of Bengali language across schools in the hills”.

However, all schools and colleges will remain open. “Court will be open. Schools and colleges are exempted from the bandh. Revenue generating sources of state will be closed,” Giri added.

The GJM, which demands a separate state for the Gorkha community, had called a sudden 12-hour shutdown in the hills after clashes with the police on Thursday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had been in Darjeeling for a cabinet meeting, had stayed back to take stock of the situation following large-scale violence.

Describing the situation in Darjeeling as “very stable and peaceful”, Mamata asserted that the government will not negotiate with the GJM after Thursday’s incident.

“They (GJM) have become politically bankrupt and resorted to violence. I hope good sense will prevail on them. We have compromised a lot and it seems that now we have our back against the wall. You can compromise for the good and for peace but it cannot be done for bombs and arms,” she told reporters.

Then chief minister said the superintendent of police for Darjeeling has been changed and three senior IPS officers were sent to deal with the situation in the hill town.