Darjeeling (WB), Sep 24 (PTI) After days of relative peace, fresh incidents of violence today rocked Darjeeling hills, where the ongoing shutdown by the GJM for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered its 102nd day.Also Read - Internet Services at Singhu, Mukarba, Ghazipur, Tikri, Nangloi Suspended in Wake of Farm Protests
A vehicle on way to Lebong area was set ablaze by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists and the driver was brutally beaten up for violating the shutdown in the hills. Also Read - Mamata Banerjee To Send Rs 10,000 To 9.5 Lakh Students To Buy Smartphones, Tabs
“The driver was going to Darjeeling town from Lebong, he was stopped by masked GJM activists. He was brutally beaten up and his car was set on fire,” a senior police officer said. Also Read - West Bengal: BJP Can Have Mamata Assassinated if Failed to Win Polls, Claims TMC Minister
Police and security personnel have made special security arrangements in the hills and are maintaining a tight vigil to avoid any untoward incident.
Several shops and markets in the hills today remained open braving threats and intimidation by the GJM activists.
However, several shops, which opened yesterday in Mirik and Kurseong, remained closed fearing backlash from the GJM supporters.
For the 13th day in a row, police along with the administration, appealed to the locals over public address systems to open shops and restore normalcy in the hills.
Peace rallies were taken out by residents at Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik, while the GJM supporters took out rallies in support of a separate Gorkhaland state and the ongoing shutdown in sections of Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong, the police said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had urged the agitators in Darjeeling to withdraw their strike and restore normalcy.
Internet services remained suspended in the hills since June 18.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.