Around 400 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha workers, who were holding a road blockade on the second day of their 96-hour bandh to press for Gorkhaland, were detained in Jalpaiguri district on Thursday.
The GJM workers, who blocked roads since 6 a.m. at Nagrakata, were taken to the Jalpaiguri Kotwali police station, police said.
Among those detained were GJM central committee members Rajen Lohar and Santosh Rai.
The effect of the bandh was felt at Kalchini, Malbazar, Nagrakata, Banarhat and other areas where the Gorkhas are in a majority with shops, establishments, schools and colleges closed.
In Darjeeling town, GJM workers were picketing at the Chowk Bazar.The offices of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, DGHC headquarters at Lalkothi, Food and Supply and Drug Control offices at Chowk Bazar were closed, SP D P Singh said.
Picketing by GJM activists was also reported from Sukhiapokhri and Sukna.
The SP said that the National Highway 31A, an important link to Sikkim, was clear of blockades with 250 personnel of the India Reserve Battalion deployed on the stretch from Sevok to Rangli near the Himalayan state’s borders.
Ten mobile vans were also on patrol, while video cameras had been installed at strategic locations to pinpoint and identify GJM supporters and workers if they tried to block roads, Mr. Singh said.
On Wednesday, GNLF leader Deepak Subba was stabbed by GJM activists at Bijonbari when he tried to stop them from removing a GNLF flag, police sources said.
Subba was rushed to hospital, where his condition was stated to be serious.