The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on Tuesday said that the GJM has given assurance that its 12-hour shutdown call on February 23 in the Darjeeling Hills won't inconvenience candidates appearing for Class 10 state board exams.
Talking to reporters, WBBSE President Ramanuj Ganguly said 9,500 students will be writing their papers in 68 exam centres of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. An estimated 6,98,628 candidates in Bengal are slated to appear for the exam, which is set to begin on February 23 and continue till March 4.
"I have personally spoken to GJM leader Binay Tamang and he assured me that exams will not be affected during the 12-hour shutdown. We are monitoring the situation and keeping in touch with the administration to ensure the exams are held without any hindrance on February 23," Ganguly said.
The GJM and Hamro Party have jointly called for a 12-hour shutdown in the Darjeeling Hills on February 23 in protest against a motion passed in the state assembly against the division of West Bengal. The bandh call in the Hills comes six years after the 2017 statehood agitation, which had seen a 104-day-long shutdown.
Asked if any step was being taken by the board to ensure safety of candidates in the wake of the recent adenovirus cases, Ganguly said, "The exam centres are already familiar with the COVID-19 drill. Hence they will take appropriate measures if a candidate is found to be afflicted with respiratory ailment or shows fever-like symptoms."
Ganguly also said that the exam centres will be under CCTV surveillance, with police personnel deployed outside. The results of this year's Madhyamik exam are expected to be out by the end of May.