Darjeeling protests have considerably affected transport to and from the area as locals in Siliguri are stopping cars and buses bearing registration plates of the state from going towards Gangtok, Sikkim. Two cars registered at Sikkim were damaged and the Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) services were halted, reported the Indian Express. Tourist vehicle drivers have claimed that GJM members who were at the head of the Gorkhaland protest stopped their cars along the NH-10, which connects Gangtok and Siliguri. A PTI report said that a bus going towards Sikkim was stopped in the morning, and later a car was not allowed to go in. A mob damaged two cars as the drivers wouldn’t get out at Champasari in Siliguri. No injuries were reported and the police removed the cars from the road. The indefinite strike that began on June 17 has incited violence along the highway. Cars and buses moving from West Bengal to Sikkim were allegedly vandalised by GJM supporters despite police escorts already in place sent by the Sikkim government, reported Indian Express.
H L Lamichaney, additional general manager (operations), SNT, told PTI that buses did not get on to the roads because of the fear of violence. “Local drivers have threatened us that they will torch our vehicles if we carry on with our services. We will resume our service if West Bengal government provides security to our buses,” he said. PTI reported that tourists heading towards Sikkim were stranded at Siliguri and about hundred people were waiting at the bus depot in Gangtok to buy tickets. Protests occurring in Darjeeling, which is an otherwise popular tourist destination, has led to Sikkim befitting. An influx of people was seen in that state.
However, with the incidents happening at NH-10, footfalls have decreased considerably in Sikkim as well. The neighbouring state has been affected due to the protests with hotels emptying prematurely and due to the evacuation of tourists, Indian Express reported. Kailash Agarwal, general secretary of Sikkim Chamber of Commerce told IE, “Stocks of essential commodities like fuel and vegetables are finishing. If needed, Sikkim Nationalised Transport buses will be used to bring essential commodities to the state.”