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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Shutdown in Darjeeling continues for second day

ANI  Darjeeling (West Bengal), July 31, 2013
First Published: 12:29 IST(31/7/2013) | Last Updated: 12:35 IST(31/7/2013)

A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)-sponsored shutdown left most parts of Darjeeling paralysed for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

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Markets, offices and educational institutions remained closed, as the 72-hour shutdown continued. There were, however, no untoward incidents reported by the police.

Vehicular movement was also restricted.

The GJM has called for the shutdown over a demand for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of northern West Bengal.

The police have been patrolling the highways and keeping a strict vigil to prevent any untoward incident.

While sporadic incidents of people setting fire to vehicles and picketing were reported on Monday, leading to the arrests of at least 50 GJM activists, no such incident was reported till Tuesday afternoon.

The shutdown coincides with the Central Government formalising the process for the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Gorkhaland movement has left many dead over the past two decades, besides affecting the region's economy based on tea, timber and tourism.

On July 18, 2011, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM and the state and central governments for setting up a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), an autonomous and elected hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor – the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council formed in the late 1980s.

The GJM now runs the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration after sweeping its maiden elections held in July 2012.


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