Riots and arson attacks in Darjeeling, the famed tea producing resort, in the last week have left 12 people injured and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) separatist group warned at the weekend that “untoward” events could happen when the general strike started this week.
The area is popular with tourists who are now panicking and leaving the area. Nearly 70% bookings have been cancelled and just over the weekend around 7,000 foreign & local tourists have left Darjeeling.
The GJM wants to establish their own state named Gorkhaland in the hill region which is now part of West Bengal. Tension have risen since the government introduced Bengali language in schools which has enraged indigenous Gorkhas who mainly speak Nepalese.
Since Modi came to power many dormant separatist movements have become active again. Modi government’s neglect of minorities in India is driving them to the wall and GJM’s call for action is another example of growing divide.