Siliguri, Jan 16 (ANI): A non-political voluntary forum named Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee (BOBBBC) gave a call for 48-hour shutdown in Siliguri on Sunday.
The shutdown is being observed as a mark of protest against the frequent shutdown calls given by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) over the issue of a separate Gorkhaland state.
Mukunda Majumdar, President of BOBBBC said that the GJM's recurring stirs have affected the normal life in the region.
"We have called a strike today as a protest against the continuous unprecedented shutdown declared by the GJM. Their strike is totally undemocratic and inhumane and anti-people, therefore, we were compelled to call this strike," said Majumdar.
Roshan Giri, the General Secretary of GJM, had announced on January 6 that a 25-day long shutdown would be enforced in Darjeeling.
According to Giri, the members of the Central Committee of GJMM would also hold a 'fast unto death' strike, slated to begin from February 16.
"The Central Government must clear its stance on the Gorkhaland issue. It has been our demand and is intrinsically linked with the people's aspirations. 99 percent of people in this region want a separate state.
The government must clarify its position on the matter. We do not have any option but to protest through democratic means. This is why, the region would be closed down and following this, our party leaders would fast unto death," said Giri.
A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.
At the fifth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi, the GJM had agreed to the constitution of an interim council by 2011 prior to the creation of a separate state.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal estimated to be around a million have demanding a separate state. (ANI)