Strikes in Darjeeling and Kalimpong

The Nepali speaking districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which belong to the Indian state of West Bengal, are currently being threatened with an indefinite strike (bandh) by the recently formed Gorkha Mukti Morcha party which has revived a long standing demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The GMM has asked tourists to leave the district, and our volunteers have felt obliged to leave too. A previous campaign in the ’80s led to the setting up of the Gorkha Hill Council, with limited autonomy for the region. Although it is unlikely that they will achieve an independent state, a greater degree of autonomy is a possibility.

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