Siliguri (West Bengal), July 15 (ANI): The non-political outfits have called for a 12-hour shutdown here on Friday to oppose the proposed agreement between the West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to finalise the newly agreed interim set-up in the disputed Gorkhaland region.
The groups Janajagaran, Bangla Morcha, Odlabari Nagarik Mancha and Janajagaran Malbaza have given the shutdown call protesting the agreement to be signed between the West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha scheduled on July 18.
The shutdown has instilled a sense of fear among the people, who have chosen to stay in the safety of their homes.
Consequently, the local markets wore a deserted look along with roads and streets, which remained desolate, with very few people venturing out in the open.
The deal between the GJM leaders and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee aims to finalise the newly agreed interim set-up in Gorkhaland.
Expressing their reservations on the proposed Gorkhaland agreement, the activists of regional outfits said they would not allow the GJM to divide West Bengal by creating a separate state.
"We are against the agreement between Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJM) and the state government, which is going to be finalised on the 18th of this month. The people here are opposed to the agreement and do not want to see it coming through. To protest this agreement, we have called for a shutdown in this region for 12 hours," said Tapan Dutta, Secretary of the Bangla Morcha group.
Meanwhile, the local police have immediately tightened security across the town, by deploying special vehicles and personnel at sensitive areas to prevent any eventuality.
"We have all security arrangements in place. We have deployed security personnel across the town. We have also provided special vehicles at every police station," said Anil Javalgi, Additional Superintendent of Police.
A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.
The Gorkha population in West Bengal estimated to be around a million has been demanding a separate state. (ANI)