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Tourists stranded by Gorkha agitation escorts from Darjeeling

Darjeeling, Mon, 21 Jun 2010 ANI

Darjeeling, June 21 (ANI): Security personnel escorted stranded tourists in Darjeeling after Gorkha group declared indefinite strike in the region.


A large number of tourists got stuck in the hills with a flash strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJMM) on Saturday.


Tourists piled up in the police station in Darjeeling making enquiry as to how would they be able to get out from the strike.


"We are facing a lot of problems as we are not able to go and we have only seven days of visa. That's why we have come to the police station to find a way out," said Sheikh Muhammad, a tourist from Bangladesh.


Many of the tourists were put into buses and vehicles of the police and moved out of the hills.


"We have arranged police buses for the tourists who are having trouble to get out of the strike. We gave two buses to get the tourists out of here and around 100 tourists have left and we are trying our best to help them," said Inderjit Thapa, inspector in charge, Darjeeling Police Station.


No violence has been reported so far. Activists of the Nari Mukti Morcha, the women's wing of the GJMM, were seen agitating in front of the Sadar Police station, Darjeeling on Sunday morning.


"Till now we have not created any problem for the police yet. We have set up booths and helpline camps to help them in whatever way possible. We have our transport joint action committee and helping them 100 percent. They are taking the tourists to Siliguri and even taking tourists from Siliguri," said Dawa Lama, a GJMM Central Committee member.


The GJMM is the forum spearheading the crusade for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of West Bengal.


The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around a million out of the state's 80 million population. (ANI)


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