The Congress today expressed concern over the situation in the Darjeeling hills and hoped that both parties would chalk out a strategy to restore peace and normalcy in the hills. “We express our concern over the prevailing situation in the hills and hope that the situation will soon normalize and peace will be restored,” Congress national spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi told reporters. The Army staged flag marches in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong as a 12-hour bandh sponsored by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) got underway today, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee describing the bandh as “illegal”. State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury today blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the unrest in the hills. “She should now apologize to the people of Bengal for fooling them by saying ‘hills are smiling’. Now we can see hills are burning. It is a complete administrative failure of the TMC government. The GJM wanted to protest in a peaceful way, but TMC which doesn’t believe in democracy triggered violence in the hills by using police and goons,” Chowdhury said.