Special Correspondent

Kolkata: Central forces are set to be redeployed in Darjeeling against the backdrop of a renewal of the demand for Statehood by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which also resumed its agitation on the issue. A 48-hour bandh began in the region on Saturday.

West Bengal Home Secretary Samar Roy said on Saturday that the forces which were withdrawn would be redeployed: “The Centre has agreed to this and the forces are expected to arrive shortly.”

The forces, deployed around August last year, were withdrawn about four months ago.

The announcement by the Home Secretary came amid reports that six private vehicles have been damaged on National Highway 31A which is the road link to Sikkim.

The bandh called by the GJM has already crippled life in the hills and its surrounding areas on Saturday.

A blow to tourism

Besides affecting daily life, it is dealing a body-blow to the tourism industry which is at peak season time. Mr Roy, however, said that the national highways are open and there is adequate security around.