Darjeeling (WB), Sep 19 (PTI) After Darjeeling town, Mirik and Kurseong sub-divisions are limping back to normalcy in the hills. Several shops, markets and government offices re-opened at the two places today after remaining shut for three months.Also Read - Internet Services at Singhu, Mukarba, Ghazipur, Tikri, Nangloi Suspended in Wake of Farm Protests
The shops and markets re-opened, defying the indefinite shutdown, which is being spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in the Darjeeling hills, over its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland, the police said. Also Read - Mamata Banerjee To Send Rs 10,000 To 9.5 Lakh Students To Buy Smartphones, Tabs
The shutdown entered its 97th day today. Also Read - West Bengal: BJP Can Have Mamata Assassinated if Failed to Win Polls, Claims TMC Minister
The development at Mirik and Kurseong comes days after shops and markets reopened in Darjeeling town.
Several government and government-aided schools are also open now after being shut for the last three months.
The state-run North Bengal State Transport Corporation plied several buses, accompanied by escort vehicles of security forces, from Siliguri to Darjeeling and back via Kurseong, besides between Siliguri and Mirik, officials said.
In Darjeeling, two rallies, taken out by the pro-bandh and anti-bandh factions respectively, came face to face but the security forces intervened to ensure that there was no untoward incident.
The situation in the hills remained tense but incident- free, despite threats and intimidation by the GJM.
For the 10th day in a row, the police, along with the administration, appealed to the locals over public address systems to open the shops and restore normalcy in the region.
Peace rallies were taken out by locals at Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik, while GJM supporters took out processions in support of Gorkhaland and the shutdown in Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong, the police said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier urged the Gorkhaland protesters to withdraw their strike.
Internet services remained suspended in the hills since June 18.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.