Friday, February 22, 2008

Strike paralyses life in Darjeeling

Life remained paralysed in Darjeeling district of West Bengal as the indefinite strike, called by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) to press for a separate Gorkha land, entered its second day on Thursday. All shops, business establishments and offices were closed and vehicles went off the roads, official sources said.
The heritage toy train service between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, tea gardens and cinchona plantations were also closed, the sources said. Sikkim-bound vehicles were, however, exempted from the purview of the bandh. The exemption was allowed as the national highway passing was the only arterial link for Sikkim with the rest of the country, GJM leaders said.
The GJM is agitating against introduction of the Sixth Schedule status for the Darjeeling hills and removal of GNLF chief Subash Ghising from the Gorkha Hill Council. Meanwhile, GNLF chief Subhas Ghising continued to remain holed up at Pintal village outside Darjeeling hill.
Debarred entry into the Darjeeling hills since his return from New Delhi on February 19 after persuading the Centre to immediately introduce the Sixth Schedule status for the hills, Ghising remained virtually confined in a DGHC cottage at Pintal, in the outskirts of Siliguri.