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Darjeeling shutdown to continue, protestors plan hunger strike

IANS  |  Darjeeling 

Demanding a probe into violence in north Bengal hills, a committee of Gorkha leaders on Tuesday said the indefinite shutdown in the area will continue, and announced a fast-unto-death hunger strike from July 15 in support of their Gorkhaland demand.

"The indefinite shutdown in the hills will continue. Leaders of all political parties which are members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) will sit on a hunger strike from July 15 to demand a separate Gorkhaland," Gorkha Janamukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said in a social media post at the end of Tuesday's all-party meeting in Darjeeling district's Mirik.

The GMCC -- comprising 15 political parties and organisations supporting the demand for separate state of Gorkhaland -- has demanded a inquiry into violence in the hills, he said.

The GJM leader said all development boards Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen in Darjeeling hills have been given a deadline of 6 p.m. on July 14 to resign from their respective posts.

GMCC leaders who will participate in the proposed hunger strike include Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Assistant General Secretary Binay Tamang, Gorkha National Liberation Front Spokesperson Niraj Zimba, P.P. Sharma of Gorkha Rajya Nirman Morcha, and Pratap Kanti of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, a source close to the GMCC said.

The committee members have decided to lay siege to the District Magistrate's and Sub-Divisional Officer's offices in Darjeeling from July 14 to protest against the blockade on supply of essentials in the district.

Accusing the state authorities in the Bengal plains of deliberately disrupting supply of essential commodities to the hills, the GMCC decided to conduct a "bag rally" from Darjeeling to Siliguri in north Bengal's Dooars region.

The birth anniversary of first Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya on July 13 will be celebrated as Gorkha Jaati Ekta Diwas, the GMCC said.

In a symbolic protest against the Bengal government, the newly formed committee also decided to return all awards received from the state government by July 13.

Apart from GJM, representatives of Gorkha National Liberation Front, Jana Andolan Party, and other prominent political groupings from the region were present at the meeting.

The all-party meet in Mirik, the second of the GMCC since it was formed on June 29, was advanced to July 11 from July 18.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 11 2017. 20:40 IST