DARJEELING: A panchayat office was set ablaze in Darjeeling hills, where the GJM today took out processions in support of its demand for a separate Gorkhaland.
Normal life remained crippled in the hills as the indefinite shutdown entered its 17th day.
Suspected Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters set ablaze a panchayat office last night, but the security forces moved in quickly and prevented it from getting completely gutted, the police said.
GJM supporters took out processions in various parts of the hills demanding a separate state and a large gathering was held at the Chowkbazar area here.
The security personnel maintained a close vigil in the disturbed areas even as Internet services remained suspended.
Shops and business establishments were shut and transport was off the roads.
The state government had yesterday sought 10 companies (around 1,000 personnel) of the CRPF to deal with the situation in the hills.
"We had earlier asked for 10 CRPF companies from the Centre. But they had sent only four companies of women police personnel and three companies of the Sashastra Seema Bal,"
West Bengal Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha had told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata.
"We have again sought 10 companies of the CRPF," he had said.