After six weeks of sporadic shut down the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) suspended strike for two days on Monday and Tuesday before chalking out future course of action for separate statehood movement.
Shopkeepers opened their shutters before sunrise to resume quick business, and transporters began ferrying people down to Siliguri nearly 100 kms from this town for bulk marketing as most of the essentials and rations are imported from the plains.
Long queses were seen at the ATMs, so in all the nationalised banks as money transactions had been affected for weeks due different types shut down in the hills.
"It is like celebrating the freedom after remaining home for days," a septuagenarian, who preferred not to be identified, said.
The GJM, which is spearheading the statehood movement, has empowered the newly form Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) to dictate the terms of the movement.
The GJAC, an eighty-party forum will meet on Tuesday to chalk out next course of action.
Nearly every essential item is in short supply or out of stock for owing to sporadic shut down since July 29 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government announced formation of Telangana by dividing Andhra Pradesh.
All the government offices were also opened and attendance was almost 100 per cent because salary for August is still unpaid due shut down.
Hundreds of empty trucks sped down to the hills for Siliguri and returned back by the evening with loads of rations and essentials.
Cooking gas, kerosene were also short of supplies and most of the petrol pumps were also having difficulties owing to out of stocks of diesel and petrol.
Students of schools and colleges started returning in anticipation of reopening their institutions from Sept 13 as announced by the GJM.
Even a section of pro-Gorkhaland supporters voiced resentment of sporadic shut down and demanded some alternative to sustain the movement.
Meanwhile, to sustain the movement, the GJM has launched fund collection in the hills, Terai and the Dooars.
"We are grateful to everyone as our people are voluntarily contributing both in cash and kind," GJM president Bimal Gurung said.
He said that the tea garden workers also pledged to contribute their one-time wage to the movement fund.
"Your donation will help us to raise our voice for Gorkhaland," Gurung said on Monday.
--IBNS (Posted on 10-09-2013)