The “Queen of the Hills” continues to remain under stir even for the sixth day of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) sponsored indefinite shutdown, with police allegedly raiding and vandalising the residence of party assistant general secretary Binay Tamang.
North Bengal, especially Darjeeling turned into a battlefield as moves and counter moves were brought on by supporters of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and dominant hill party, the GJM. Notably, in wee hours of Saturday, Tamang claimed his house was “raided and vandalised by the police and the Trinamool Congress cadres” in the same manner as they had raided party chief Bimal Gurung’s house in Darjeeling district two days ago. He further claimed that Vikram Rai, son of GJM MLA Amar Rai was arrested by the police while Amar Rai said his son has no political affiliations.
“We are shocked and stunned to inform you all that Vikram Rai – a local journalist, was arrested last night. Rai was associated with various media houses based in Kolkata and was also a stringer for a television channel. If local journalists are not safe in Darjeeling, who is,” Tamang said in a statement.
“There is a virtual emergency imposed in Darjeeling region,” he added.
The agitation intensified as GJM supporters pelted stones and petrol bombs at the residence of Trinamool Congress activist Deoraj Gurung in Lebong Cart Road and attempted to set the house on fire, claimed Deoraj. Even at Pankhabari, JM supporters allegedly attacked a local Trinamool activist’s residence. A PWD (public works department) office at Bijonbari, was reportedly set on fire by GJM supporters.
The ongoing strike has also affected the tourism of the region. The toy-train services of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has been suspended in view of the strike for the safety of passengers and staffs.