GJM call off indefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills

Jalpaiguri (WB): Responding to the appeal of the Election Commission and in view of the board examinations beginning in West Bengal from Wednesday, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) called off its indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills today after nearly a fortnight.

"The bandh is being called off to allow students to take the tenth class board examinations (madhyamik). The bandh was also lifted to keep our promise to the Election Commission observers to bring normalcy in the hills," Harkabahadur Chhetri, GJM spokesperson, said to a news agency over phone from Kumani near here.

Chhetri said the Election Commission observers had urged the GJM to maintain normalcy as it was the single largest party in the hills.

"We are lifting the bandh to keep our promise to the Election Commission observers of maintaining peace in the hills," he said.

The bandh was enforced in the Darjeeling hills on February 9 in protest against the killing of two GJM supporters in police firing at Sipchu in Jalpaiguri district the previous day.

GJM Vice-President Kalyan Diwan said they would organise a rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on February 27.

Diwan also protested against the imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and police harassment of GJM workers and said they would organise a hunger strike in Darjeeling.