After 40 years of peace in Darjeeling, the demand for a distinct state, Gorkhaland, has resurfaced. Subsequently, Darjeeling has witnessed several incidents of violence in last few days. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee tried to calm the situation, but the protest continued. Eventually, the Centre had to intervene.
On Tuesday, an additional 600 paramilitary personnel were sent to end the violence in Darjeeling.
Here are 10 key developments on Darjeeling crisis:
The protest starts with the objection against the state government’s declaration that Bengali will be a compulsory language subject till class X.
But Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) felt that CM Banerjee was trying to impose the language. Its chief Bimal Gurung called Banerjee a dictator.
GJM launched its protest when Banerjee was in Darjeeling for a cabinet meeting. She accused GJM of playing politics.
Banerjee announces that Bengali has not been made compulsory.
Tourism affected severely and most tourists left in a bid to avoid any unpleasant incident.
GJM calls for an indefinite strike demanding the closure of all businesses in the region.
Demand for Gorkhaland gains momentum. Instances of destruction and torching soon reported from various parts of the region.
400 paramilitary personnel deployed from West Bengal in Darjeeling.
After situation turned frenzied, Centre said it is ready to help the State government.
Centre sends 600 paramilitary personnel to Darjeeling in an effort to counter and control ferocity.
Notably, six pro-Gorkhaland parties of the hills adopt a resolution for a separate state. GJM claimed that BJP members are also a part of it. But, BJP national secretary refuse claims, saying national party unaware of such development.
Initially, the Government announced that all government offices will function normally defying the bandh (strike) in this protest. But after incidents of vandalism and protesters setting an office on fire emerged, it was decided that the government offices will also remain shut.