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HC asks GJM to explain why it should not be asked to pay costs of bandh

Kolkata, Aug 14 (PTI): The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday observed that the fundamental rights of the people in Darjeeling district were being curbed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s bandh and asked the GJM why it should not be asked to compensate damage to public and private property in the hills.

A division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi directed the GJM, which is demanding a separate Gorkhaland state, it to file an affidavit by September 5 stating why compensation costs would not be imposed on it.

The GJM’s indefinite bandh was against an order of the high court.

The division bench expressed displeasure over the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's violation of its order of August seven which had held the indefinite bandh in Darjeeling as illegal.

The GJM counsel submitted that the people of hills were agitating spontaneously and were resorting to a 'janata curfew' and that the party had little say over it.

The court, however, refused to buy the GJM's argument and observed that the people of the hills were not being treated like human beings.

It also observed that fundamental rights of people were being curbed and that normalcy at schools, colleges and medical institutions were also being affected.

The bench directed the West Bengal government to assess damage to public and private property and submit a report to it.

Government pleader Ashok Banerjee submitted a report in a sealed cover detailing the present situation in Darjeeling.


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