Kolkata : A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday declared the ongoing bandh called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morch (GJM) in the Darjeeling Hills illegal.

The court also directed the state government to submit a report to the bench on the extent of losses of government properties during the bandh, within two weeks. Rama-prasad Sarkar, an advocate had filed a Public Interest Litigation challenging the indefinite bandh called by the GJM in the Darjeeling Hills in the division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty on June 9.

Passing the order the division bench said the then Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Jaymalla Bagchi passed an order on August 7, 2013 declaring the bandh called by GJM illegal will be in force. The division also directed that no muscle power would be used during the bandh.

Meanwhile, the violence in the Darjeeling Hills continued on Friday. The GJM supporters set fire to Lodhma Primary Health Centre, Rimbik Thermal Power station office, and forest department staff quarters in Tarkhola. The GJM supporters also set fire to many other government offices and schools at several places.

Darjeeling wore a deserted look with shops and markets remaining closed. A few tourists who are still in the hills are trying to return back. The police and army vehicles have been  patrolling the area. The Trinamool congress on Friday took out a peace rally in Mirik. The state government will  send four additional  senior IPS officers in Darjeeling to help maintaining law and order situation.

Meanwhile, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung on Friday asked the people in the Hill station to be prepared for the “final battle” for achieving Gorkhaland state.

“I urge the people to get prepared for the final battle as the time has come for a do or die fight if we want to achieve our dream of Gorkhaland,” he said in a message from an undisclosed location circulated among the people of the hill town.

Gurung’s message comes in the backdrop of the police raid at his premises at Singhmari and Patlebas on Thursday.

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