Darjeeling: Taking a tough stance against Wednesday's shutdown called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling, West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday warned its employees of stern action if they fail to turn up.
The GJM has called the shutdown to protest against Mamata's statement that Rs 4,000 crore has been allotted to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration -- the hill area governing body run by the party -- over the last four-and-half years.
The state government, in tandem with the Darjeeling district administration, has taken steps to maintain law and order, and to ensure that educational and medical institutions and shops function normally.
It has also adopted measures to check disruption of public transport.
"We have made strong security arrangements. A forcible shutdown will not be allowed. Legal action will be taken against those who disrupt public property and disrupt peace," warned District Magistrate Anurag Shrivastava.
Shrivastava further said: "Shops, schools and colleges will remain open. Police will ensure citizen's safety and no one will be allowed to intimidate others to observe a bandh."
He also cited that the Calcutta High Court has declared as illegal and unconstitutional attempts to enforce a shutdown and curb citizen's rights. "Any such attempts would be akin to contempt of court."
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the West Bengal government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of the shutdown.
"Apart from police patrolling, over 100 CCTV cameras have been installed at various locations to monitor the situation," Shrivastava said.
The state's Transport Department has issued a circular, directing the Regional Transport Officers to ensure that public transport remains uninterrupted.
"Permits/licences are liable to be cancelled for wilful non-plying of public service vehicles. The Regional Transport Authority will be empowered to cancel permits and licenses," said the circular.
The Transport Department will also run extra buses and has asked all unions to ply their vehicles.
Control rooms have also been set up to monitor the situation, the circular mentioned.
Further, it said the Bengal government will reimburse costs, incurred in vehicular damages due to unruly and violent agitators, through insurance, etc.
To thwart the shutdown call, the Food and Civil Supplies Department has also instructed fair price shops to remain open during working hours. A show-cause notice will be slapped on the licencees of shops that remain shut, it warned.