Observing that the fundamental rights of the people of Darjeeling were being curbed, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday asked why the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha should not be asked to compensate damage to public and private property in the hills.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi directed GJM, which has organised a “janata curfew” demanding a separate Gorkhaland state, to file an affidavit by September 5 stating why compensation costs would not be imposed on it.

The division bench expressed displeasure over the GJM’s violation of its order of August 7, which had held the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling as illegal.

The GJM counsel submitted that the people of Hills were agitating spontaneously and were resorting to a ‘janata curfew’ and that the party had little say over it. The court, however, refused to buy the GJM’s argument and observed that the people of the hills were not being treated like human beings.

The bench directed the West Bengal government to assess damage to public and private property and submit a report to it.