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Tourists flow to Darjeeling marred by GJM moral policing

Darjeeling, Sun, 06 Sep 2009 ANI

Darjeeling, Sep 6 (ANI): Tourism in Darjeeling, is taking a hit following a moral policing by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists.


The Gorkha community has been demanding a separate state called "Gorkhaland" carved out of West Bengal to protect their culture and heritage.


Cradled in the hills of the eastern part of West Bengal, Darjeeling has always been a favourite spot for tourists because of its snowcapped mountains, and the pristine scenery.


The recurrent shutdowns and protests by GJM activists is great causing inconvenience to tourists, some of the local felt.


"We are husband and wife and we should have the freedom," said Amit Ghosh, a tourist.


The moral policing has been on since September 1,when GJM activists punished a couple for walking hand in hand.


"There is a difference between Indian and Western culture and this drive is aimed at those who are trying to imitate Western culture," claimed Binay Tamang, assistant secretary, of the GJM Central Committee.


Locals say the acts of moral policing will injure hill station tourism.


The lush green tea estates around the town and the narrow gauge 'toy train', a UNESCO world heritage site added more color to Darjeeling that is situated at a height of 2134 meters above sea level.


Tea, timber and eco tourism are the mainstay of the Bengal economy. Over four million tourists visit state every year.(ANI)


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