GJMM bandh evokes lacklustre response
The 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM) in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling hardly had any impact on the normal life. GJMM chief Bimal Gurung, however, claimed that Wednesday’s bandh was successful.
On the same day when GJMM called a bandh, the Calcutta High Court said it would hear anticipatory bail prayers of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and 23 others in connection with the Madan Tamang murder case, in which all of them are accused.
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday rejected CBI’s contention that it cannot hear the anticipatory bail pleas as the investigation is being monitored by the Supreme Court. A division bench of Justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee said that it would hear the petitions on October 3.
On Wednesday, the district administration held as many as 200 bandh supporters for creating problems in the three sub-divisions. According to a senior official in the district, nearly 200 bandh supporters were detained as they were trying to force the shops to shut down and create trouble in the area.
Three state ministers Goutam Deb, Rabindra Nath Ghose and James Kujur monitored the situation in the three hill sub-divisions. Goutam Deb monitored the situation at Kalimpong while Rabindra Nath Ghosh and James Kujur stayed at Kurseong and Darjeeling, respectively. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday had given a clear instruction that there should be no shutdown and blockades.
People in the hills, however, thwarted the bandh with the offices registering around 98 per cent attendance on Wednesday. Government buses carrying tourists were escorted by security personnel. There were, however, lesser number of private vehicles on the street. For the first time in the history of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, a toy train was run in Darjeeling.
The bandh supporters ransacked two private vehicles in Kurseong and also damaged a police vehicle during their demonstration. Two vehicles of TMC supporters were damaged by bandh supporters. The district administration has been taking action against the accused in the case.
Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said that over 200 GJM supporters were detained. Three Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) members were arrested during the bandh.
GJMM had called the bandh demanding a detailed account of Rs 4,000 crore, which the state government had promised to give for the development of the hill region. The Chief Minister, however, claimed that her government had already given the amount to the GTA.