Darjeeling bizmen try to defy bandh

However, fresh violence erupted, with an SUV set on fire early in the day

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Darjeeling bizmen try to defy bandh
Darjeeling on the boil again


As the indefinite bandh at Darjeeling hills entered the 101st day on Sunday, some businesses decided to defy the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and opened shops. Several shops at the Chowk Bazar area opened shutters with the help of police personnel who were deployed in large numbers.

However, fresh violence erupted, with an SUV set on fire early in the day. The vehicle, which was on its way to Darjeeling, was torched on Lebong Cart Road allegedly by GJM members. Also, cars plying at Kurseong and Kalimpong came under stone-pelting, even as the district police offered full support to businessmen.

“We had offered 24-hour protection to those who wished to open their shops, but only a few responded,” said a senior officer with the district police.

After a meeting with district police officers on Saturday, businessmen decided to open shops at 9am the next day.

Heavy police presence, along with the deployment of central forces, was seen at Chowk Bazar area. Police also used loudspeakers to allay any doubt in the minds of the people. Shopkeepers were seen cleaning their shops opened after a long time.

“We are in a catch-22 situation. If we keep our shops shut, we suffer huge loss. If we open those, we run the risk of getting in the line of GJM fire,” said a shop owner.

Some alleged that police threatened to break their locks if they did not open the shops.

Shopping complexes, however, kept their shutters down. At Kurseong, a stronghold of rebel GJM leader Anit Thapa, shops opened for a brief period in the morning and shut by afternoon.

In Kalimpong, however, none of the shops opened.


  • Posters have been put up at Kurseong and Kalimpong, allegedly by GJM workers
  • They warn the govt that workers may take up arms if the strike is ended by force
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