Tension in Darjeeling hills on third day of bandh

There was simmering tension in Darjeeling Hills on the third day of the indefinite bandh by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

Last Updated: Aug 05, 2013, 16:01 PM IST

Darjeeling: There was simmering tension in Darjeeling Hills on the third day of the indefinite bandh by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) as a silent procession with the body of a party supporter, who died after immolating himself over Gorkhaland demand, began its last journey in Kalimpong.

Official sources said additional security personnel, including police, were deployed in Kalimpong in view of the prevailing situation.

The silent procession with the body of Mangal Singh Rajput, the GJM worker who immolated himself seven days ago and died on Saturday in a Siliguri hospital, began from Dumbar chowk in Kalimpong.

GJM president Bimal Gurung, who has reached Kalimpong to attend the funeral, criticised the government over the detaining of four GJM workers this morning for trying to block the entrance of the district magistrate`s office.

"GJM will intensify its agitation if the West Bengal government did not stop its repression of the Hill people," he said.

Rajput`s body was taken to his home in Kalimpong last night in a procession. He had tried to immolate himself at Dumbar chowk in the heart of the hill town and suffered 90 per cent burns.
GJM sources said a candle light march will be held across the hills today evening in support of the statehood demand.

Meanwhile, the Raman hydel power project, which had been shut down by the statehood agitators on Saturday, resumed work during the day with CRPF`s help, official sources said.
In the hills, life continued to be paralysed due to the bandh. Shops and markets, educational institutions and private offices remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads. There was slogan shouting against the state government in the towns of Darjeeling, Mirik and Kurseong,

District Magistrate`s office and other government offices were open. Normal work was carried out at the tea gardens and cinchona plantations, which are outside the purview of the shut down, the sources added.

PTI