Gorkha activists block trains

June 11th, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Siliguri/ Jalpaiguri, June 11 (ANI): Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters today blocked the Kanchankanya train at Bagracoat station in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri District.
Demanding Central intervention into the matter for a separate Gorkhaland state, the supporters raised slogans stopped the train for over forty minutes.
The West Bengal Government has already dismissed the demand for a separate state in the hills and urged GJM leaders to sit for talks on other issues.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tourists were forced to leave Darjeeling hills following a shutdown called by supporters of separate statehood for ethnic Gorkha people.
Activists of the GJM had asked tourists, including dozens of foreigners, to leave Darjeeling to avoid getting caught in the indefinite strike that began on Tuesday.
Dozens of tourists were stranded as buses and taxis stayed off the roads.
“We were planning to go to Darjeeling to take bus or jeep or even a train but none of them worked because everybody said the roads and railways are blocked,” said Majeic, a tourist from Poland.
Barbara, a tourist from Australia said, “Because there is a strike, all roads are blocked. There are incidences of violence on tourists coming back from Darjeeling.”
According to the authorities, the unrest was bound to dent the tourism prospects of the state.
“This agitation is going to have a negative impact on the tourism industry,” said Gautam Banerjee, vice president of travel agent association in the state.
GJMM comprising about half a dozen parties, has been organizing protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling hills demanding action for a separate Gorkhaland state. The group had revived the demand for Sixth schedule status while the GJMM, a breakaway faction of the GNLF, opposes it demanding full-fledged statehood. The West Bengal Government has been resisting demands for a separate state for the Gorkhas. (ANI)

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