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India: Darjeeling shutdown enters 20th day on July 4 /update 4

Indefinite strike enters 20th day on July 4 in Darjeeling; tensions remain high

09 juill. 12h15 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 24/6/2017, 12h00 until 4/7/2017, 11h59 (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION Darjeeling (West Bengal)

Event

The indefinite strike called for by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha party (GJM, or Gorkha Peoples Liberation Front) entered its 20th day in Darjeeling on Tuesday, July 4. Internet services remain suspended for the 17th consecutive day; the internet ban was extended for eight more additional from Monday, July 3. With the exception of pharmacies, all shops remain closed, along with restaurants, hotels, schools, and colleges.

Context

At least five people were killed and over 100 others injured in recent strike-related clashes in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal state. The strike was triggered by a government announcement that Bengali, the state official language, would become a compulsory subject in schools across the state, prompting unrest among the ethnic Gorkha people. Gorkha leaders are arguing that they are not ethnically Bengali but Nepali, and should not be forced to speak Bengali. GJM subsequently called for the indefinite strike as well as for the creation of a new state, Gorkhaland.

Advice

Individuals in Darjeeling are advised to monitor the situation, stay away from all demonstrations, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities.

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