Tourists leave Darjeeling due to strike, GJM supporters arrested

Photos by Barun (beacononline)

SILIGURI: The indefinite bandh called in Darjeeling hills by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) led to an exodus of tourists on Tuesday and leaving over 10,000 stranded in the plains. Stray violence was reported from neighbouring Jalpaiguri district and at least 350 people were arrested. The GJM had called for the bandh to press their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Authorities said a special train will ply from New Jalpaiguri railway station to Howrah on Tuesday night. Darjeeling District Magistrate Rajesh Pandey said most tourists started leaving Darjeeling on Monday. Transport was off the roads in the hills. The shutdown also cut off Sikkim with GJM supporters blocking the arterial national highway 31A. Over 350 GJM supporters were arrested from different parts of Jalpaiguri district after clashes with local people and police. Many were injured when a 1,000-strong mob blocked the road at Nagrakata and forcibly downed shutters of shops. (times Of India)

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