Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sikkim still remains cut off due to blockade of NH 31A

Gangtok, Jun 20(PTI) Sikkim was today cut off from the rest of the country due to blockade of National Highway 31 A, which connects the Himalayan state with Siliguri, by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) as part of its indefinite bandh to press for its demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.Barring movement of army vehicles and ambulances, traffic on the national highway came to a grinding halt, police personnel manning the inter-state border checkpost at Rangpo said here.Four Sikkim National Transport (SNT) buses carrying troops from Siliguri left for Sikkim through the Rangpo checkpost, while some vehicles with students and patients on board from Gangtok and other places left for Siliguri/ Darjeeling till noon, they said.No other public transport, like buses and taxies, were plying on the highway after the GJM enforced the indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills and the highways passing through the hill regions of West Bengal, the sources said.Meanwhile, the Sikkim government was in constant touch with their counterparts in West Bengal and the Centre to ensure that NH 31 A is spared from the indefinite bandh due to its impact on the economy of the Himalayan state, official sources said here.