There was no let up in the autonomy stir by ethnic Nepalis or Gorkhas in India’s eastern hill town of Darjeeling today with public transport staying off roads and government offices remaining closed.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, a regional group spearheading the strike, called for an indefinite shutdown on June 12 to press for its demand that a separate “Gorkhaland” state be carved out of the West Bengal province.
The group is also protesting the state government’s move to make Bengali language compulsory in schools. Gorkhas want their own language to be taught in schools instead of Bengali.
Long queues of local residents were seen on the roads as they braved the inclement weather, waiting for hours for buses to get from one place to another.
The protests took a violent turn last week after three Gorkha supporters were killed and at least five injured in police firing.
Tourism is among the worst-hit businesses in the Hilltown as the violence forced tourists to cancel their bookings and hotels to shutdown.