On the eleventh day of an indefinite strike in the hills of North Bengal, there is no sign of relief. Ajit Yadav, the police superintendent of the district of Kalimpong, said that at a rally in the village of Marung protesters “severely” beat up the driver of a police car, and then lit the car on fire. There haven’t yet been any arrests.
Additionally, in protests throughout the hills, there was a cultural programme and concert in Kalimpong, where performers sang of the demand for Gorkhaland. Binay Tamang, a spokesman for the GJM, said that on Monday the strike would be temporarily suspended for members of the Muslim community, who would be permitted to drive their cars from 6 am to 6 pm in order to attend mosque or visit relatives.
Also, in addition to the stir which has hit the normalcy of Darjeeling, on Tuesday, protesters will burn copies of the agreement that established the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to symbolise their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
While the opposition of the ruling TMC party in Bengal accused Mamata Banerjee government of being irresponsible towards the crisis. Kailash Vijayvargiya, a national general secretary of the BJP who is in charge of the party’s affairs in West Bengal, said that although the party does not support the establishment of Gorkhaland, he feels that irresponsible behaviour on part of the state government caused the current crisis.
“The state government has dishonoured the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration accord by denying administrative and financial authority to the GTA,” said Vijayvargiya.
“This was an insult to the people in the hills, and chief minister Mamata Banerjee should come and apologise to the hill people.”