Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha activists protesting on the streets in Darjeeling
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today issued a 72-hour deadline to Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha to withdraw the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling or face "tough action".
Declaring the bandh illegal and unconstitutional, Ms Banerjee said, "Enough is enough. I have tolerated the bandh for eight days."
"We are very rough and tough, Darjeeling will have to open, Central
agencies should not interfere in state business" she asserted.
Life in the hills has been crippled since the past
one week following GJM's indefinite shutdown to press for a separate
Gorkhaland state to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and its
neighbouring Jalpaiguri district. The move came after the Central government's decision to create a separate Telangana.
However, Morcha president Bimal Gurung said the chief minister will have to take back the ultimatum. "Otherwise, there will be a janta curfew. Not a single
person will come out on the streets of Darjeeling," warned Mr Gurung.
Over 100 GJM supporters and activists have been arrested in the past few
days for picketing or trying to use force to ensure the shutdown.
On Thursday night, the local administration shut down two cable operators because they could not produce original official papers. The GJM has claimed the blackout was because the cable operators were showing pro-Gorkhaland news channels.