Special Correspondent

Bandh in protest against nod for proposed interim administrative body for the region

A 48-hour bandh called by the GJM in Darjeeling

Set to begin on Saturday

KOLKATA: Except for Siliguri and some of its adjoining areas, normal life remained unaffected on Friday by the call for a 24-hour State-wide bandh by a local anti-Gorkhaland organisation, the Bangla-O-Bangla Bhasha Bachao Committee (BOBBBC).

The bandh was in protest against what the BOBBBC described as the Centre and State Government's affirmation to the proposal of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) for setting up an interim administrative body for the region.

“The bandh is in protest against the Centre and the State Government's agreeing to the setting up of such a body and granting it greater autonomy and administrative powers (than the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) which is as good as acceding to the demand for a separate Gorkhaland State,” BOBBBC president Mukunda Majumdar told The Hindu over telephone from Siliguri.

The impact of the bandh was felt in Siliguri where most shops and other commercial establishments were closed. There was little traffic movement. Besides some of the town's adjoining areas it had virtually no affect in other parts of the State, officials said.

“The response to the bandh in Siliguri and adjoining areas was spontaneous,” Mr. Majumdar claimed. Life was also affected in several parts of Jalpaiguri district, he added.

The day passed off peacefully. Seven bandh supporters were held on charges of blocking roads, said a senior police officer. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Vandana Yadav said the bandh did not have much impact in the district and in the tea gardens.

Meanwhile, Darjeeling hills braces itself for the 48-hour bandh called by the GJM from Saturday.