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HomeNationDarjeeling strike: Mamata Banerjee says GJM bandh illegal; Army stages flag march

Darjeeling strike: Mamata Banerjee says GJM bandh illegal; Army stages flag march

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darjeeling, mamata, Coming down heavily on the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday warned GJM supporters of stern action even as the Left Front has demanded an all-party meet on the hill issue.

CM Banerjee has described it as illegal and warned that the government would take legal action against those who participate in it. The strike, however, almost stalled life in the hills with most of the shops, eateries and markets remaining closed and vehicles off the roads.

A defence ministry spokesperson said in Kolkata that six Army columns have been deployed — three in Darjeeling, two in Kalimpong and one in Kurseong. Each column comprises of 43 personnel.

Three companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have also been deployed to ensure peace.

“Army was requisitioned at 6.15 pm yesterday (Thursday) in Darjeeling after a mob turned violent and injured government personnel and vandalised government property,” he said.

“Two Army columns were deployed initially in Darjeeling. Requisition for deployment of additional columns in Kalimpong and Kurseong as a precautionary measure, was received late in the night,” the spokesperson added.

Even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the government would take a “tough stand” to deal with the agitators in Darjeeling, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists reportedly torched an under-construction ITI building at Mungpoo which is 33 km from Darjeeling.

A political slugfest had erupted over the issue with GJM chief Bimal Gurung projecting himself as the chief minister of the hills. He also challenged CM Mamata Banerjee to stop the agitation in the area. “As the chief minister of West Bengal she is trying to show her strength. But she must not forget that I am an elected member of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). I am the chief minister of the hills, I challenge her to stop the agitation in the hills,” Gurung said.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung projected himself as the “chief minister of the hills” on Friday and challenged Mamata Banerjee to stop the agitation in the area.

“As the chief minister of West Bengal she is trying to show her strength. But she must not forget that I am an elected member of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). I am the chief minister of the hills, I challenge her to stop the agitation in the hills,” Gurung said.

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