Darjeeling strike postponed so tourists can get out

A strike in India's Darjeeling region has been postponed for 60 hours so tourists can leave, according to a BBC News report.

The strike was called on Tuesday by the Gurkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a political party seeking to form a separate state in the hills of Darjeeling. The strike shut down most businesses (including hotels and restaurants) and roads in the region, leaving thousands of tourists scrambling to depart.

Some tourists reportedly have had harrowing experiences trying to leave. According to a Times of India story, supporters of the GJM stopped a bus transporting tourists and pelted it with rocks.

The party has warned that the strike will resume indefinitely from Saturday, reported BBC News, unless its demands are met. The Gurkhas, a Nepali-speaking ethnic group, have been demanding that a separate state called Gurkhaland be carved out of the Indian state of West Bengal to protect their culture and heritage.

 

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