Section 144 Cr Pc has been promulgated around the district magistrate office and some other government offices and at vital installations in Darjeeling hills, official sources said. Senior IPS officers Javed Shamim and Siddhinath Gupta, two of the three IPS officials have been entrusted to oversee the law and order situation, said the overall situation was under control. They said some 10 to 12 people have been arrested for arson and damaging the government properties.
The Army deployed on Thursday evening after the GJM activists set on fire on police vehicles and beat some 60 to 70 police persons near Chowrasta, continued on patrolling in all three hills of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong. The CRPF also deployed in all vital installations and the administration demanded three more para-military forces to face the eventuality. State police armed with baton and shield virtually surrounded all the important government offices to ensure safe passage for the employees.
GJM President Bimal Gurung said since the GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) has been a failure due to the state government's alleged repressive style of functioning, they have no other alternative but to spearhead the movement for separate state for Gorkhas in the Hills. Mr Gurung still heads the GTA. The sufferings for common people compounded even in the Terai and Dooars areas of the neighbouring districts with 48-hours strike started this morning in all tea gardens called by the different trade unions, defying government's ban on strike. The roads and shops almost looked deserted with thin number of vehicles plying. The GJM has asked tourists to leave Darjeeling Hills saying the party would not take any responsibility in case any unfortunate development.
The GJM said its main target to resort to non-cooperation to the government establishments for the TMC led government headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's dictatorial regime on the hills people. District magistrate Joyosee Dasgupta claimed good number of attendance in the government offices. The government issued notification asking to the employees to attend offices mandatory. "It has also been decided that no leave shall be granted to any employee on any of these bandh days," the notice said.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) or popularly known as toy train services were suspended for indefinite period owing to shut and schools and colleges remained opened as usual. The joint forum of trade unions of 27 organisations called 48-hour strike in all tea gardens demanding among other increase of salary for the workers, began with almost shut in all tea estates in the Dooars and Terai. (UNI)