The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Sunday asked the Centre to issue a notice on their demand for a separate state, Gorkhaland, in 10 days, as violent protests continued in Darjeeling and areas around it. Protestors took their agitation to the sensitive town of Jaigaon, which lies on the India-Bhutan border. Hundreds of Gorkhaland supporters threw petrol bombs at the police, which retaliated immediately, The Times of India reported.
GJM leaders said the clash between protests and the police continued for more than five hours. A hunger strike had been organised, which they said the police had tried to break.
The protestors stopped cars from crossing the border near Jaigaon, The Telegraph reported, creating concern that they were targeting areas that would put them at a strategic advantage. On Saturday, demonstrations were held in the town of Sukna, which lies in the state’s narrow neck, less than 50 km from the Bangladesh border.
Violence broke out in Darjeeling in June after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. Although she had said that hill districts would be exempted from the rule, the GJM began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.