Darjeeling bandh peaceful; Mamata says govt won’t tolerate separatist movement
The bandh called against Thursday’s police action on the GJM supporters, paralysed normal life as thousands of tourists remained stranded.Updated: Jun 09, 2017 23:57 IST
Apart from setting an under-construction ITI building on fire at Mungpoo, the 12-hour bandh in Darjeeling hills called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Friday passed off peacefully.
Despite the calm on the streets, there was a war of words between CM Mamata Banerjee and GJM president Bimal Gurung. Banerjee alleged that GJM was trying to divert people’s attention from their non-performance in Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the semi-autonomous body that runs the hills.
A team of six officers, who are supposed to conduct special audit of GTA also reached Darjeeling and started their work. “This (the violence) is just to turn the attention of people from the real issues. Whenever elections come after five years, they start flexing muscles,” Banerjee said.
Gurung, however, claimed that “the state is indulging in terror politics. But they cannot crush our political movement”.
Incidentally, police did not arrest any GJM supporter though they set ablaze three vehicles, a government bus and injured dozens of policemen on Thursday .
The bandh called against Thursday’s police action on the GJM supporters, paralysed normal life as thousands of tourists remained stranded. Many of them were taken down to Siliguri by the district administration that arranged free buses. The government also arranged for special buses between Siliguri and Kolkata to ferry stranded tourists.
The army on Friday deployed four additional columns in the hills as precautionary measure. Three companies of the CRPF were also sent to Darjeeling.
Banerjee, who is in the town to oversee the development, on Friday announced that there is limit to tolerate and no one crossing the limit would be spared. She said that the state government would not tolerate any separatist movement and act of vandalism.