Siliguri, Aug. 7: The British government has warned its nationals of risks associated with travel to the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim because of the indefinite strike enforced by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
An advisory, issued on August 6 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the Government of UK, reads: “Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) ….. has called for an indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills from Saturday 3 August. The GJM has asked tourists and students to leave the hills by Friday 2 August. If you choose to remain in this area, there is a risk of being stranded and becoming caught up in any subsequent incidents. Although the route to Sikkim is currently open, disruption in Darjeeling may also affect visitors to Sikkim….”
The driver and cleaner of a truck, purported to be supporters of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, were attacked allegedly by sympathisers of the Morcha at Turibari near Bagrakote in the Dooars on Wednesday. The Morcha was also accused of damaging the truck that was parked on the dry bed of the Ghish river for loading stones and pebbles.
The driver, Sunil Lohar, said the Morcha activists had asked him and the cleaner to stop loading the stones as a bandh was going on in the hills. Lohar said the attack happened when they refused to heed the Morcha’s order.