GJM bandh evokes total response, 100 activists arrested

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Siliguri, Jun 10: More than a hundred activists have been arrested so far at Dooars area under Jalpaiguri district even as life remained paralysed throughout the three subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong for the second day today in response to the GJM's call for indefinite strike in support of Gorkhaland.

North Bengal Inspector General of Police (IGP) K L Tamta said about 100-150 persons were arrested at the Dooars area for picketing activities and trying to enforce the bandh. Meanwhile, 15 persons were injured in sporadic clashes that erupted late last night between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and Jana Chetana Mancha (JCM) activists at various areas under Bagdogra. The IGP informed that the Rapid Action Force (RAF) had been deployed in the entire Bagdogra area and the situation was under control now although tension prevailed. Besides, prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr PC continued to be in force in the three subdivisions.

However, the bandh had no impact in Siliguri district.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung told newspersons here today, ''The indefinite strike would continue until our demand of immediately holding a tripartite meeting with the Centre, West Bengal government and the Morcha leaders is met.'' Mr Gurung also informed that his party's activists would launch a fast-unto-death at the Darjeeling More from 1200 hours today to demand the formation of a separate state Gorkhaland.

He alleged that CPI(M) and JCM cadres were harassing the Morcha supporters and preventing them from holding rallies or hunger strike.

However, he assured that the GJM would extend all-out support to the tourists who were stranded in the Hill areas and said his party workers would assist the tourists to move out safely.

''About 2,000 tourists are still stranded at Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong areas. We have started a helpline for the convenience of the tourists. However, the people who still want to stay on in the Hill areas will be provided hotel accomodation and other services at 50 per cent of the rates,'' Mr Gurung said.


UNI

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