GJM relaxes indefinite bandh in Darjeeling for few hours

Siliguri, Jun 11 (PTI) As the indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills entered its second day today, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha declared a 15-hour relaxation to enable locals to stock food and essential commodities.
The relaxation, from 0300 pm onwards today, was announced by GJM President Bimal Gurung at a public meeting at Mal in Darjeeling town.
A GJM source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the relaxation period might be extended further as a crisis in food and essential commodities was already being felt in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
If the bandh was resumed from tomorrow, the spontaneous support that the GJM enjoyed, might be affected, the source said.
A meeting of the GJM central committee would meet in the evening to evaluate the situation and take “practical decisions”, the source said.
Gurung, meanwhile, said that a memorandum had been faxed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing deployment of the CRPF in Darjeeling, “which will lead to panic” among the locals.
GJM General Secretary, Roshan Giri told PTI that his party had rejected the call of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to give up its demand for creation of a separate state of Gorkhland.
“Gorkhaland is our demand. There is no question of giving it up. We are open for talks provided Gorkhaland is on the agenda for discussion,” he said over telephone from Darjeeling.
Darjeeling District Magistrate Rajesh Pandey said around 10,000 tourists had departed from the hill station yesterday and only 100 to 150 visitors were left. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, North Bengal, K L Tamta said the six companies of CRPF to be deployed in the hills, were yet to arrive at Siliguri.
He said even though the GJM supporters blocked the road to Assam passing through the Dooars region for two hours before dispersing, the situation was peaceful, .
Sikkim continued to remain cut off for the second consecutive day, with GJM supporters picketting the National Highway 31A, the sole link between Gangtok and the rest of the country, Tamta said. PTI UBR PC VU 06111736 DEL (Beacononline)


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