Normal life disrupted in Darjeeling hills over Gorkhaland issue

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Siliguri, June 17 : Normal life in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district was disrupted today as Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) enforced a second spell of indefinite shutdown over its demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

Shops, markets, business establishments, banks and post offices were closed and vehicles remained off the roads after the shutdown resumed on Monday after a five-day break.

The National Highway 31A linking Sikkim's capital Gangtok with Siliguri passing through Kalimpong sub-division was blocked by GJM activists.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Government has called an all-party meeting in Kolkata today to discuss the situation in Darjeeling.

State Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will preside over the meeting.

The Chief Minister separately invited the GJM for a dialogue on June 18, but the party turned down his request and instead called for tripartite talks with the Central and State Governments.

GJM comprising about half a dozen parties has been organizing protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling hills demanding a separate Gorkhaland state.

The group had revived the demand for Sixth schedule status while the GJM, a breakaway faction of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), opposes it, demanding full-fledged statehood.

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