Darjeeling violence: Some miscreants torched a PWD Office on Monday amid calls for a bandh by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), ANI reported. Earlier in the day, the city witnessed empty government offices as a result of the bandh. The Paramilitary troops were patrolling the streets to prevent any untoward incident, ANI reported. The Bandh saw its effect even as the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal had issued an order that all offices have to remain open in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The order, issued by the state government, made it mandatory for government employees to attend work. “In view of the call given by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for indefinite bandh/strike on and from 12 June, 2017, it has been decided that all state government offices situated in the District of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government, would remain open and all the employees of those offices should report for duty on each day till the call for such bandh is not withdrawn. It has also been decided that no leave shall be granted to any employee on any of these bandh days,” said a state government release.
The Mamata Banerjee government had told its employees that no salary will be given to absentees unless they were in an emergency like hospitalisation or death in the family, among other things. GJM President Bimal Gurung, along with other party leaders have challenged Mamata Banerjee and her government to try and stop them from achieving their goal of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
The GJM had on Friday called a 12-hour bandh in the hills against the TMC government’s decision to make Bengali language mandatory in schools in the hills. The violence, triggered by Government’s decision, saw GJM supporters clash with the police and set ablaze several government vehicles. “The government has encroached on our identity, our language Nepali. We will never tolerate it,” GJM chief Gurung had said.