Govt sends paramilitary to clear National Highway 31 A



New Delhi: The government on Tuesday rushed about 700 Central paramilitary personnel to open the crucial highway (NH 31 A), connecting Sikkim with the rest of the country amid an ongoing indefinite bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in support of their demands.

Four companies (about 400 personnel) of Central Reserve Police Force, two companies (about 200 personnel) of Sashastra Seema Bal along with a company of women personnel (comprising about 100) were sent to clear the highway, a senior Home Ministry official said.

The GJM has called for an indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills since July 13 in support of their demands despite the Centre preponing the tripartite meeting on the Gorkhaland issue.

"The Highway has been blocked for the long time. The Central forces will open the route in order to bring life to normalcy in the region. Either they should cooperate with the government or confront the forces," the official said.

The government may send Army personnel, if necessary, he said.

The talks on the contentious Gorkhaland issue is scheduled for August 11.

Bureau Report