West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has assured that she will restore normalcy in restive Darjeeling district, which has been badly hit by a shut down called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) over the government’s proposal to make Bengali a compulsory language in all government schools. “Everything will be normal tomorrow. Buses will start plying. We have informed Kolkata Police to help in the matter. We will also conduct a meeting with the police and other DGPs to review the situation,” Banerjee said. Normal life has come to a halt in the hills after the GJM staged a shutdown to protest against the move to impose Bengali in government schools.
Many shops and markets kept were shut down and vehicles stayed off the roads in Darjeeling. An under-construction building at near Darjeeling was reportedly torched by the GJM workers. This comes a day after the Army was called into Darjeeling after violent protests erupted against the “imposition” of Bengali language by the state government.
Two army columns were deployed in the town at the request of Banerjee to maintain law and order. The chief minister took the decision to seek the Centre’s help in an emergency meeting held at Rajbhawan in which 30 ministers and delegates, including Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, participated. The GJM has been demanding Nepali or Hindi as a language instead of Bengali.