Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue

Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue | Photo Blog Enlarge Photo Darjeeling erupts over separate state issue | Photo Blog

Wed, Feb 27 09:25 AM

New Delhi: The unrest in the hills of West Bengal continued for seventh consecutive day with the indefinite bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha disrupting normal life in Darjeeling.

The GJM is a breakaway faction of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and has been demanding separate statehood for Darjeeling, protesting the introduction of Sixth Schedule status for the region.

The protests turned violent on Tuesday evening when nearly 1,000 women supporters of the GJM clashed with police in Siliguri.

The protests cut off Sikkim from the rest of the country and tourists and vehicles were stranded on the NH-31 Highway.

The GJM leadership said the bandh would continue till the demands for the immediate removal of Subash Ghising from the post of administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and the scrapping of the move to grant Sixth Schedule status to the region were met.

The GJM has been joined by several regional parties in its movement for a separate Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling hills and certain other areas.