Indefinite shutdown cripples Darjeeling

November 24th, 2007 - 9:39 pm ICT by admin  

Darjeeling (WB), Nov 24 (ANI): Indefinite shutdown called by Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) to protest against the Friday’s attack on one of its leaders, crippled the normal life in Darjeeling Hills on Saturday.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutes remained closed today.
The GNLF said that the shutdown would continue until those responsible for the attack on K B Gurung, a former GNLF councillor, were arrested.
“As long as the culprits are apprehended, the shutdown will continue indefinitely,” said Sukh Thapar, a GNLF leader.
Gurung was critically injured in an alleged attack by the activists of the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) on Friday. Later, Gurung was shifted to a hospital in Siliguri.
The Army was called out on Friday evening following the violent incidents. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the town and the Rapid Action Force has conducted a flag march.
There is no report of any untoward incidents since last night.
The shutdown is on in the town over rival claims for a separate homeland for ‘Gorkhas’.
Rival factions called for a shutdown in pockets of their influence. While one faction is in favour of the inclusion of the hills in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the second is not.
The powerful Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) wants the Darjeeling Hills to be included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, while the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM), a breakaway faction of the GNLF, led by Bimal Gurung, opposes the demand.
GNLF launched the agitation for a separate state in 1980, but dropped the demand for Sixth Schedule after New Delhi agreed to confer partial autonomy in 1988 for the Nepalese-speaking people.
An agreement was signed by the Central Government, the West Bengal Government and the GNLF paving way for the setting up of the Autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (ADGHC) in 1988.
The State Government in West Bengal has been resisting demands for a separate state to Gorkhas. (ANI)

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