Darjeeling, June 25: Amid the ongoing indefinite shutdown in the West Bengal hills, the Gorkha Jamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership on Sunday said there will be “partial relaxation for 12 hours” on Monday for the Muslim community to observe Eid. However, the GJM maintained that the relaxation in plying of vehicles would be only for the Muslim community, nor for the general public. “There will be partial relaxation of the bandh for the Muslims here on the occasion of Eid. We have contacted the Imam of Darjeeling and Imam of Kurseong regarding the relaxation,” Biy Tamang, GJM’s Assistant General Secretary, told IANS.
“The partial relaxation will be given to the Muslims keeping in mind the religious importance of this festival. However it is not for general public,” he said. Meanwhile, on the 11th day of GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in hills, all the hotels and shops barring the pharmacies stayed closed and the picturesque tourist locations continued to look desolate.
In Darjeeling, several people led by the GJM activists rallied from Chawk Bazar to Singmari carrying tiol flags and shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans on Sunday morning. The activists also reopened the GJM party office at Singmari that was closed since the massive clash with the police and security forces on June 17.
“Pro-Gorkhaland rallies are being organised all over the hills,” Tamang said. On Friday, 43 GJM leaders including party chief BImal Gurung resorted to mass resigtion from the GTA - the developmental board in the North Bengal hills — and vowed to burn the GTA regulation act documents in public on June 27 as a symbolic protest against the board. On Saturday, Subhash Ghising’s son and Gorkha tiol Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Mann Ghising led a rally in Darjeeling town for the first time since becoming the party President almost two years ago.
The GNLF has put its long standing differences with the GJM aside and supported the demand for Gorkhaland. “The party is working towards uniting all the locals to fight for the one point agenda of Gorkhaland till it is achieved,” a GJM leader added. The picturesque Darjeeling district in the northern West Bengal is on the boil for more than two weeks over demands for a separate state of Gorkhaland. It has been facing an indefinite shutdown for the last 10 days. While GJM, which is spearheading the movement for Gorkhaland, has repeatedly rejected any possibility of talks with the state government, the state government maintains that it is ready for a discussion after the situation in the area becomes normal. (IANS)