Suspension of Internet services extended in Darjeeling

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), spearheading the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state in the hills, has repeatedly demanded the resumption of Internet services.

Published: 25th September 2017 07:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2017 07:39 PM   |  A+A-

Several shops remained open in Darjeeling even as the situation in the hills remained tensed as the indefinite shutdown called by the GJM for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered its 100th day. In pic: Supporters of GJM hold placards and raise slogans as they take part in a mass rally to demand for separate State of 'Gorkhaland' in Siliguri. (Photo | PTI)


DARJEELING: The administration today extended the suspension of Internet services in the Darjeeling Hills, imposed on June 18, till October 4, District Magistrate Joyoshi Das Gupta said.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), spearheading the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state in the hills, has repeatedly demanded the resumption of Internet services.

A senior police officer said there were no reports of violence or any untoward incident in the Darjeeling Hills, where an indefinite shutdown entered day 103rd day today.

"We are maintaining a strict vigil," the officer said.

Several shops and markets in the hills opened during the day despite threats and intimidation by activists of the GJM.

Das Gupta said that over 80 per cent of the shops in the hills remained open.

Asked about the threats and intimidation to traders and shop owners by the GJM, Das Gupta said, "Actually, the municipalities are controlled by the GJM and the trade licenses are issued by municipalities. The GJM has threatened that it will keep a tab on those shops which defy the strike call and try to open and that in the next one to two years it will cancel their trade licence."

For the 14th day in a row, the civil and police administrations appealed to the locals over public address systems to open shops and restore normalcy in the hills.

Peace rallies were taken out by residents in Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik, while GJM supporters took out rallies in support of a separate Gorkhaland and the ongoing shutdown in parts of Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong, the police said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had urged the agitators in Darjeeling to withdraw their strike and restore normalcy.

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