Seeking support for a separate Gorkhaland state, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Saturday called for an indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills from Monday, ANI reported. “All central and state government offices, banks, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration offices will be closed as part of the shutdown from Monday. However, schools and colleges will be outside the purview of the shutdown,” GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told media persons after the party’s central committee meeting. “All party meet called on June 13; offices of Gorkhaland Territorial Admin, Bengal government and central govt will be shut from Monday,” Giri said. As per an IANS report, Sub-divisional Offices, Block Development Offices and District Magistrate’s offices will also be closed, however, banks will remain open on Mondays and Thursdays. As per Giri, government’s revenue sources like electricity, mines and boulders will also participate in the shutdown. The GJM General Secretary Roshan Girir further demanded that signboards in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik and several parts of Dooars and Terai could be written only in Nepali and/or English. Giri further said that torchlight rallies would be called every Monday, adding, that there would be marches in various wards and assembly constituencies of the hills from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the sake of ‘Gorkhaland’s revival.
Giri claimed that thousands of people will hit the streets to take part in mass rallies every Sunday and Thursday in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik. “There will also be the mass signature campaign in favour of Gorkhaland. The signatures will be sent to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister,” he said.
He added that shutdown will be relaxed from June 27 to June 30 when central and state government offices and banks would be open. The present round of movement started when the Mamata Banerjee-led state government decided to make Bengali compulsory up to class 10.