Protesters block highway, burn effigies of Mamata Banerjee

GJM supporters burn an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Pic/PTI
GJM supporters burn an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Pic/PTI

Security forces patrolled the streets in the hills and Internet services remained suspended for the second day yesterday as Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters held a protest march here demanding Gorkhaland and burnt effigies of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Carrying black flags, protesters, especially the youth, marched on the streets of Chowkbazar shouting slogans against the state government and the chief minister.
Protesters also burnt effigies of Banerjee and vowed to continue their fight for Gorkhaland. Protesters blocked the NH 31A at some places in the district, official sources said. The 92 km long NH 31A connects Sevoke in Darjeeling district to Gangtok and is considered the lifeline of Sikkim. Around 30 km of the highway passes through West Bengal.

"Three of our activists were killed. We are ready to give our lives but will not stop protesting till we get Gorkhaland," Sirish Pradhan, a GJM worker, said.

Several small processions were taken out by GJM activists in various parts of Darjeeling. Internet services remained suspended for the second day yesterday.

"The situation is still very tense. Since morning there has been no incident of violence. But we are on high alert and are prepared for any eventuality," said a senior police officer.

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