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Shutdown disrupts life in Darjeeling hills

Posted by on February 9, 2011 0 Comment

Siliguri (West Bengal), Feb 9 (IANS) Life was disrupted Wednesday in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills in response to a call by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) for an indefinite shutdown to protest the killing of its supporters in police firing.

The party, which is spearheading the movement in the hills for a separate Gorkhaland state, has also announced plans to block train services.

Shops remained closed and road traffic was seriously affected in the Darjeeling hills comprising the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

However, in Dooars, where two GJM activists, including a woman, were killed Tuesday in police firing, the situation was normal, police claimed.

R. Kumar, inspector general for north Bengal, said: “Dooars was not affected by the shutdown. Traffic was normal on the highway. GJM supporters put up a few party flags at some places on the railway tracks. So there is some disruption in train services.”

The police resorted to firing in Dooars Tuesday after clashing with GJM supporters who tried to violate prohibitory orders imposed there.

Harka Bahadur Chettri, GJM publicity secretary, Wednesday claimed that one more supporter, who was injured in the firing, succumbed to injuries in a hospital in Kalimpong.

“Bimola Roy and Vicky Lama were killed in the firing yesterday (Tuesday). Nita Khawas, who was seriously injured, has also died at the hospital in Kalimpong,” he said.

Police, however, did not confirm Khawas’s death.

“There is complete shutdown in the hills. We are going ahead with our plan to block trains,” Chettri said.

Darjeeling Superintendent of Police D.P. Singh said: “The situation is peaceful. No untoward incident has taken place.”

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