Ahead of the fourth round of tripartite talks on the issue of a separate state of Gorkhaland, a 24-hour shutdown called by anti-Gorkha Jan Mukti outfits began in the plains to protest it.

Though it was dubbed a ‘Bangla Band’, its effect was felt only in Siliguri and adjoining areas in the plains in Darjeeling district with shops, markets and business establishments closed.

The police said that pro-bandh supporters forced closure of a couple of government offices.

The roads in the town were deserted with traffic off the roads.

The shutdown to protest the talks and against the division of West Bengal has been called by anti-GJM local outfits Aamra Bangali, Bangla O Bangla Bachao Samiti and Shiv Sena.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai will lead a five-member Central team to the tripartite talks in Darjeeling.

The state government will be represented by Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh and Darjeeling District Magistrate Surendra Gupta.

The GJM side will be headed by its General Secretary, Roshan Giri.