Janata curfew in Darjeeling, high court expresses displeasure

`Janata curfew` called by GJM in Darjeeling hills was being held on Wednesday prior to relaxation of indefinite bandh for four days from Thursday.

Kolkata: The `janata curfew` called by the GJM in the Darjeeling hills was being held on Wednesday prior to the relaxation of the indefinite bandh for four days from tomorrow as the Calcutta High Court questioned it and expressed displeasure.

Life remained paralysed in the Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisional towns with no transport on the roads as more arrests were made.

Darjeeling municipality councillor Subhomoy Chatterjee was among those arrested with the total number of arrests crossing 300, the SP`s office here said.

Food, including rice and sugar, to mitigate the suffering of the people, were being distributed by the district food supply department from 11 points in the three sub-divisions as decided by the West Bengal government.

The Calcutta High Court expressed displeasure during the day over the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha`s violation of its order of August seven which had held the indefinite bandh to demand Gorkhaland, as illegal.

Observing that the fundamental rights of people in Darjeeling were being curbed it asked why the GJM would not be asked to compensate damage to public and private property in the hills.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi directed GJM to file an affidavit by September five stating why compensation costs would not be imposed on it.

The GJM counsel submitted that the people were agitating spontaneously and were resorting to a `janata curfew` and that the party had little say over it.

The court, however, refused to buy the GJM`s argument and observed that the people of the hills were not being treated like human beings.

The bench directed the state government to assess damage to public and private property and submit a report to the court.

GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri refused to comment on the high court observations saying that the order had not been received.