Strife-torn Darjeeling gets Eid breather for 12 hours
Amid the ongoing indefinite shutdown in the West Bengal hills, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership on Sunday announced a partial relaxation for 12 hours on Monday for the Muslim community to observe Eid.
“The bandh will be relaxed from 6 am to 6 pm for our Muslim brothers and sisters. All vehicles transporting them will be allowed to ply during that time. Shops, however, will remain shut,” said GJM General Secretary Bimal Gurung.
The Morcha has allowed the relaxation to ensure communal harmony in the hills, but the Muslim community is not sure they will celebrate Eid. “There have been no preparations owing to the indefinite bandh. Even if the vehicles are allowed to ply, shops will remain closed,” said a businessman on condition of anonymity.
SS Ahluwalia, a BJP MP from Darjeeling, said food supplies will be available if vehicles are allowed to ply. “There is a sizeable Muslim population in the hills. They should not be inconvenienced,” he said.
Talking about the prevailing logjam, Ahluwalia said only a tripartite dialogue will solve the problem. “The state has been firm on its stand. Just saying that they wanted peace to prevail will not help,” he said.
Ahluwalila also alleged that Chief Minister Mamata …read more