West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday spoke about the 12-hour strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Friday, which paralysed life in the region. Speaking at an event in Siliguri, Banerjee said, “We are continuing with the free bus services from Darjeeling for another 24 hours.” The Trinamool Congress chief further said that she was continuously monitoring the situation. “There have been enough compromises, enough is enough,” she said.
“But compromise can’t happen when threatened with bombs,” she said, adding the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration elections can be held any time now. The new Board has to take oath before August 2, ANI quoted Banerjee as saying.
Earlier in the day, the West Bengal CM had assured that she would restore normalcy in the restive Darjeeling district, which was disrupted by a shut down called by GJM following the proposal to make Bengali a compulsory language in all government schools here. Speaking to ANI, she said, “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.”
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Normal life was hit in the hills as many shops and markets were closed and vehicles stayed off the roads in Darjeeling. Taking their protest to the next level, GJM workers reportedly torched an under-construction building near Darjeeling. The bandh announcement came a day after the Army was called into the region to secure the area from violent protests staged by GJM workers. As per an ANI report, two army columns were deployed in the town at the request of Banerjee to maintain law and order.
Banerjee took the decision to seek Centre’s help in an emergency meeting which was held at the Rajbhawan, in which a delegation of 30 ministers including chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee participated.