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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Hills bandh a major blow for tourists

Pramod Giri , Hindustan Times  Siliguri, August 02, 2013
First Published: 12:13 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 12:38 IST(2/8/2013)

Tourists such as Devesh from Patna or G Tocin from the Czech Republic will remember their stay in Darjeeling, also known as the Queen of the Hills, for all the wrong reasons.

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Instead of taking back wonderful memories of this picturesque and popular tourist destination, they are more likely to remember how the politics of bandhs put a damper on their holiday.

Newly married Devesh and his wife had to come to Darjeeling on their honeymoon. The couple reached Darjeeling from Gangtok on the evening of July 28 and had a return train ticket for Patna on August 1.

But, all their plans went astray with the GJM calling a three-day-long bandh demanding the creation of Gorkhaland from July 29. They were forced to remain at their hotel and they were bitterly disappointed.

To make matters worse, it was their first Darjeeling trip and the plans had been made long back.

Devesh, who works in a media house in Patna, said, “We reached Darjeeling on July 28 evening and the three-day-long bandh started the next morning.”

His wife, who was equally angry and disappointed, added that they had nothing to do, nowhere to go for three days.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, they reached Siliguri only to be encountered with another bandh - this time by two outfits which are against the formation of a Gorkhaland.

Devesh said, “We could have extended our Darjeeling trip but we decided against it as they (the GJM) have again called an indefinite bandh in the Hills from Saturday.”

In Siliguri, the couple managed to get a rickshaw and reached New Jalpaiguri Railway station to board the train in the evening.

Tocin, who is from the Czech Republic, had been waiting for hours for a bus to go to Gangtok, where he is supposed to spend a week.

But with the GJM calling an indefinite bandh from Saturday, he is now afraid of being stranded in Gangtok.


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