West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (PHOTO: facebook)
Countering the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's (GJM) call for indefinite shutdown in the hills, the West Bengal government on Sunday issued an order that all its offices will remain open in Darjeeling and Kalimpong and also made it mandatory for employees to attend work.
"In view of the call given by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for indefinite bandh/strike on and from June 12, 2017, it has been decided that all state government offices situated in the District of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government, would remain open and all the employees of those offices should report for duty on each day till the call for such bandh is not withdrawn."
"It has also been decided that no leave shall be granted to any employee on any of these bandh days," said a state government release.
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, the statement said, has also decided that absence of employees on any of these days will be treated as 'dies non', which will constitute break in service and no salary will be admissible unless in emergency circumstances like hospitalisation of the concerned employee, death in the family among other things.
After the GJM's central committee meeting chaired by its President Bimal Gurung on Saturday, the party leaders threw a virtual challenge to the Mamata Banerjee-led state government to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
According to GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri, all central and state government offices — including block development offices, sub-divisional offices and district magistrate offices, banks, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (the hill development body) offices — will be closed as part of the shutdown from Monday.
However, schools and colleges, transport and tourism — hotels, eateries, shops — will be outside the purview of the shutdown.
Giri said the state government's revenue sources like electricity, mines and boulders will also come under the purview of the GJM's shutdown.
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