KOLKATA: As the indefinite shutdown of Darjeeling hills entered its 27th day on Tuesday, parties representing the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) sat down at an all-party meeting at Mirik in Darjeeling district, the fifth such meeting in a month.
Though the meeting was scheduled to be held on July 18, it was preponed after three youths associated with Gorkhaland statehood movement lost their lives in alleged police firing in Sonada and Darjeeling on July 8, the day the present phase of statehood agitation completed one month.
Trouble began during cabinet meeting of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling on June 8 when angry mobs protesting against proposal to make Bangla compulsory in all schools of the state set fire to police vehicles.
Since June 8, six people have lost their lives to alleged police firing and lot of public properties have been gutted. However, police have claimed that they never opened fire on the protesters.
With both Centre and state turning their backs to the statehood demand, the GMCC is likely to continue with the indefinite strike.
The all-party meeting in Mirik started at around 1 pm and is likely to continue till late in the evening. Mirik municipality was recently won by Trinamool Congress, the first plains-based party to make a mark in the hills.