Central team arrives in Gangtok to take stock of Darjeeling shutdown situation

June 24th, 2008 - 1:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Gangtok, June 24 (ANI): A Central Government team is visiting here today to assess the situation arising out of an indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM).
The GJM had called for an indefinite shutdown from June 10 onwards to mount pressure on the Centre for the granting of separate statehood.
During their visit, the team will meet Sikkim Chief Secretary N. D. Chingapa and other senior State Government officers.
The indefinite shutdown was relaxed for three days from Sunday following requests by some union ministers to enable school students to finish their term before summer vacations begin from June 25.
The GJM, comprising about half a dozen parties, has been organizing protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling Hills over a demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.
The West Bengal Government, however, has been resisting the demand.
The strike in the Darjeeling Hills has badly hit the tourism and the tea industries, the two mainstays of the local economy. A tea industry official has warned that exports of premium Darjeeling Tea could fall by 20-25 percent this year.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million out of 80 million people, although the overwhelming majority is concentrated in Darjeeling. (ANI)

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