GJM closes state govt. offices in Darjeeling
Siliguri (PTI): Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, fighting for a separate state of Gorkhaland, on Monday claimed that it had closed all offices of West Bengal government and Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council(DGHC) in Darjeeling hills.
GJM President Bimal Gurung said GJM supporters were picketing outside state government offices, including the office of district magistrate of Darjeeling, which they had shut down.
DM Surendra Gupta, however, said his office was open with only a few senior officials attending but most employees did not report for work.
Only the employees of the election cell which was kept outside the purview of the closure functioned with the electoral roll revision work continuing, he said.
Gupta said government buses were stopped at several locations but no tourist was stranded.
Courts in Darjeeling Hills remained open.
Food and Supplies department offices, insurance office, offices of the health department and fire brigade would remain open on Mondays and Tuesdays, as per GJM's diktat.
Rural and Co-operative Banks would remain closed indefinitely, they said but other banks will be allowed to function.
Public Health Engineering department, electricity board office, water supply and civic bodies were allowed to remain partially open, GJM leaders said.
The agitators would allow the municipalities of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong to remain open but no development work could be permitted to take place, they said.
GJM will announce the second phase of agitation on January 7, its media and publicity secretary Binay Tamang told PTI.
He said GJM would hold a series of rallies in support of their demand beginning December 17 in Darjeeling, Kalimpong Kurseong, Siliguri and Dooars.