Life affected by GJM-sponsored strike in Darjeeling

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Darjeeling, Feb 20 (UNI) Life in this district of West Bengal came to a grinding halt today following an indefnite strike called by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters against the proposed Sixth Schedule status to the district and demanding ouster of GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh.

North Bengal Inspector General of Police R S Nalwa said the bandh was peaceful except for tension at Shalbari, where CPI(M) and Opposition GJM activists took out rallies against and for the strike respectively.

Armed Police forces were deployed in the area to aviod violence.

Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Ghisingh is in Pintail village, on the outskirts of Siliguri, where he is staying at a guest house after arriving here.

No untoward incident was reported so far as the police and armed forces were on high alert.

RAF, District Combat Force and other additional focres, including the Indian Reserve Battalion(IRB) from Durgapur and two companies of State Armed Police(SAP) from Purulia were rushed to the spot.

The GJM activists were picketing near a petrol pump in Sukna and all roads in this area leading to Darjeeling were blocked.

Police sources informed that municipal water supply and garbage clearance services were not working properly resulting disruption in normal life.

Tourism was also badly affected with people leaving the hotels due to poor water supply and other problems.

All schools remained closed. Although, 'Madhyamik' examination was held in the district and students were unable to reach their centres on time due to road blockades.

Meanwhile, the number of people going on a hunger strike has risen to 66 today. GJM centrel committee member Bimal Dorjee said their supporters in Siliguri were also considering joinging the strike. He said about 11 activists will join the hunger strike in Pintail village.

UNI XC LL SK BST1639

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