Darjeeling shutdown to continue, hill party leaders to sit on hunger strike

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Darjeeling, July 11 (IANS) Declaring that the indefinite shutdown in the northern West Bengal hills would continue, the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) has decided to stage a hunger strike from July 15 to press for a separate Gorkhaland state.

The members of the committee also demanded a CBI inquiry into the incidents of violence in the hills and decided to lay siege to the District Magistrate and Sub-Divisional Officer’s offices in Darjeeling from July 14 to protest against the blockade of essential goods to the district.

“The indefinite shutdown in the hills would continue. Leaders of all political parties that are members of GMCC would sit on 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.

“GMCC has demanded a CBI inquiry into all the violence,” he said.

The GJM leader also said that all the development boards chairmen and vice chairmen have been given a deadline of 6 p.m. on July 14 to resign from their respective boards.

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

The all-party meet in Mirik, also the second meeting of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) since it was formed on June 29, was moved up to July 11. The meeting was originally scheduled on July 18.

The GJM — spearheading the agitation for Gorkhaland — was present at the meeting along with Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), Jana Andolan Party (JAP) and other prominent political groupings in the region.

The army was deployed in the hills after three persons died and a policeman sustained injuries in a sudden escalation of violence on Saturday.

The West Bengal government has blamed “foreign forces” close to the BJP for playing a part in the recent flare-up in the hills.

–IANS

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