Darjeeling: Exodus by residents, labourers amid indefinite GJM strike

| Updated: Jun 21, 2017 18:58 IST

Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], June 21 (ANI): Amid the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills which entered its ninth day today, Residents and labourers were seen leaving the area due to the indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for a separate Gorkhaland. "All things are under close watch. Regarding forces we don't want to make any comment," Additional director general of police (ADGP) Vivek Sahai said. Meanwhile, a major demonstration was held in Bengaluru city on Tuesday in support of GJM demand for Gorkhaland. Even as the indefinite strike called by GJM entered into its eighth day yesterday, Mamata Banerjee left for her Netherlands visit. Mamata, who left to address a United Nations meet, said her ministers were monitoring the situation in violence-hit Darjeeling. "Violent protests won't be tolerated. My ministers are monitoring the situation," she told ANI at Kolkata airport. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he has spoken to Mamata over the law and order situation in Darjeeling. Thirty-six policemen were injured on Saturday in clashes with the GJM supporters. The GJM announced an indefinite strike encompassing Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and the Dooars protesting against Mamata Banerjee's decision to make Bengali language compulsory in state-run schools. The strike was called even after the Chief Minister assured that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts. The protestors are also asking for a separate Gorkhaland, a long pending demand of the people of the hills. Earlier in the day, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung claimed that the West Bengal Police are illegally entering their supporters' houses and torturing them and also accused them of killing two of his supporters. He said that GJM would further strengthen their agitation. Mamata Banerjee tore into the GJM supporters and said that they aren't listening to the court, even after it had passed an order citing the bandh was "illegal." Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation in West Bengal's Darjeeling by sending more troops to help restore normalcy as the state government has not yet submitted its report on the situation. (ANI)