Gorkha protest spares census, exams in Bengal

Darjeeling, Feb 11: Following the death of two Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in Darjeeling, violence spread throughout the hills and the dooars (the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan) region in the state of West Bengal. However, the GJM members decided to spare activities associated with the census and examinations.

Work related to the census, which started in the country from Feb 9, has been exempted by the GJM protesters who are observing an indefinite strike in the hills.

GJM activists also burnt down two trucks in Jalpaiguri district on Friday, Feb 11.

Normal life in North Bengal is being paralyzed over the indefinite strike that has been called by the GJM protesting against the state and the central government. Shops, business establishments and markets were shut down while vehicles remained off the roads. Tea gardens in the hills were also closed.

"We want a new state of Gorkhaland out of Dareeling district and parts of Jalpaiguri district. Interim Council was never our demand. It was the central government which suggested it during recent tri-partite meetings. But now we want all talks to centre around Gorkhaland," asserted a GJM spokesperson.

West Bengal Governor M K Narayan claimed that, "It is very much essential to help restore peace in Darjeeling Hills and Dooars area and everybody including political parties should play a role in restoring peace."