Darjeeling bandh cuts off Sikkim completely

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Gangtok, Jun 17 (UNI) Sikkim was cut off from the rest of country today as the only link, NH 31-A, was blocked by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha picketers to enforce an indefinite Darjeeling hills bandh, that started yesterday.

The GJM activists have set up a picket near the Rangpo bridge, gateway of Sikkim, and at Melli bridge, another entry point to South Sikkim to deter any vehicular movement from the state to other parts of the country.

Barring a few army vehicles and emergency services, no other vehicle dared to ply along the 70-kms road upto Corronation bridge in face of the GJM bandh.

Meanwhile, the Sikkim government today said the West Bengal government should ensure free movement of Sikkim's vehicles on the highway as it falls under Bengal jurisdiction.

''The State Government has already requested and is in regular touch with the Government of West Bengal and the Centre for ensuring free movement of passengers and goods traffic along NH 31-A to avoid hardship to the people of Sikkim'', a government communique said.

With supplies of essentials to the landlocked Sikkim hit by the bandh, the government has started rationing of cooking gas, kerosene, diesel and petrol.

Sikkim has a storage capacity of LPG for only three days in its Bageykhola depot.

UNI BG PC AKJ ND1730

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