A central nod for parleys notwithstanding, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) continued with its indefinite strike for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. Normal life remained paralysed in all three sub divisions of Darjeeling due to the strike.
The strategically significant state of Sikim remained cut-off for a second consecutive day as a key national highway (NH31) connecting the state to the rest of the country remained affected by the strike.
Schools, colleges, shops and offices remained closed and the streets wore a deserted look, as the GJM called strike continued despite the Centre’s decision to hold a third round of tripartite talks involving the GJM and the West Bengal state government.
The talks are scheduled to be held on August 24, the decision was taken at a Monday night meeting between the government officials and a GJM delegation led by party general secretary, Roshan Giri, say media reports citing GJM office bearers.
GJM publicity secretary, Benoy Tamang, later said the talks were not enough to review the bandh decision.
The GJM demands include relocation of Inspector General of Police (North Bengal), KL Tamta, ASP (HQ), A Chaturvedi and SDoP, Kurseong, Partha Paul and unconditional release of all GJM supporters.
GJM blames these officials for a lathicharge on a party rally on Friday last, Morcha officials say 25 party activists sustained injuries due to the action.
Residents in the area, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, say the Gurkha movement through repeated strikes was destroying the region’s economy and advocated for strict governmental action against those responsible for disarraying everyday life in the hills.