GJM shutdown evokes strong response in Darjeeling
Most markets were shut and vehicular traffic was minimal on Monday in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills as a 72-hour shutdown in support of a Gorkhaland state began .
According to police, there were stray incidents of violence, including the torching of three vehicles, in the protest called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
At least 50 people have been arrested for trying to forcibly enforce the shutdown.
Schools, markets and government and private offices remained shut.
The shutdown coincides with the Congress-led central government's reported decision to form a separate state of Telengana by splitting up Andhra Pradesh.
The Gorkhaland movement has left many dead over the past two decades besides affecting the region's economy -- 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.