GJMM shutdown affects normal life in Darjeeling

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Darjeeling, Feb 7 (ANI): The 24-hour shutdown called by the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) on Saturday affected normal life in the Darjeeling hills' Terai and Doars regions.

They are demanding the reopening of 13 closed tea gardens. Another demand is to get permission to organise political activities in the Doars region of Jalpaiguri district.

The Morcha also asked that the alleged atrocities on adhivasis in Lalgarh by police and the ruling Left Front Government to be stopped.

Hundreds of people of a tribal community are protesting and demanding a separate hill state for the Gorkha ethnic community.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalis, have been fighting for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the hill districts of West Bengal.

However, the tribals inhabiting the foothills, - the Doars and Terai regions, have protested against the creation of Gorkhaland, claiming that they represent over 60 per cent of the population in the region.

While Doars falls under Jalpaiguri district, Terai comes under Darjeeling district dominated by the ethnic Santhals, Mahtos, Bhils, Mundas, Oraons and Nepalese.

At least 1,200 people died in the first Gorkhaland campaign in the 1980s, but protests ended a few years later after Gorkha leaders accepted limited autonomy.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million out of 80 million people, although the overwhelming majority is concentrated in Darjeeling. (ANI)

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