Darjeeling unrest: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today offered a 12-hour “window” on June 23 to the schools in the Darjeeling hills to evacuate their students safely to Siliguri and Rongpo. “The central committee of our party has decided to offer a 12-hour window, from 6 AM to 6 PM on June 23, to the schools in the hills to evacuate their students. “The students will be allowed to go to Siliguri and Rongpo only in school buses. The indefinite shutdown will continue. Only the students will be allowed to leave safely,” senior GJM leader Binay Tamang told reporters here. He said barring school buses, no other vehicle would be allowed to leave the hills during the 12-hour “window”.
An indefinite bandh was called in the hills by GJM on June 15. With supplies running out and the vacations to start shortly, the renowned boarding schools of Darjeeling are facing a harrowing time due to the shutdown. Darjeeling is home to some of the oldest and renowned boarding schools in the country, but with the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown over the demand of a separate Gorkhaland entering its seventh day today, the school authorities are at their wits’ end as regards how to send the students home once the vacation starts next week. “We are facing two problems presently. One is of the supply of food stock and another is of sending the students home,” Rabindra Subba, the principal of Himali boarding school, said.