With an objective to bring normalcy back in Darjeeling, West Bengal Tourism Minister Goutam Deb took out a peace rally at Garidhura area, near Kurseong, on Wednesday.
“We are getting a good response from the people of Darjeeling as they are fed up with the ongoing shutdown. People in the hills are with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and they want development. Many of the shops, schools and offices opened up and transporters started their services. Life is crawling back to normal in Kurseong, Mirik and many other areas in Darjeeling hills,” Deb said during the rally here.
The leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress said the situation in the hills would be almost back to normal before the all party meeting to be held on September 12.
The rally was taken out on the 84th day of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-sponsored indefinite shutdown called in the northern West Bengal hills demanding a separate Gorkhaland state.
Deb said relief materials were distributed among people who have been facing hardship due to ongoing shutdown.
Binay Tamang, the ousted leader of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, was also supposed to take out a rally in Darjeeling on Wednesday demanding the restoration of peace in the hills.
Meanwhile, the other ousted GJM leader Anit Thapa had led a silent rally in Kurseong township demanding peace on Tuesday.
He said the hill people were being emotionally blackmailed in the name of Gorkhaland to continue with the shutdown.
Thapa and Tamang Awere expelled from the party on September 1 by the party leadership on charges of conspiring with the Bengal government to derail the Gorkhaland movement after they decided to temporarily call off the indefinite shutdown.