The youth wing of the GJM began a hunger strike today on the 37th day of the indefinite agitation in the Darjeeling hills to press for the demand of a separate state of Gorkhaland out of West Bengal. Thirteen GJM Yuva Morcha activists started a fast-unto- death at four places – Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sonada. GJM Yuva Morcha president Prakash Gurung told PTI that 13 members began the strike initially and their number would increase gradually. “We will continue our fight till Gorkhaland is achieved,” Gurung said.
Meanwhile, the 30-member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of hill parties, which has postponed its decision to hold hunger strike till its next meeting in New Delhi on August 1, said it had nothing to do with the hunger strike. “The GJM Yuva morcha is doing this hunger strike on its own. It has nothing to do with GMCC,” a GMCC member said. This despite the fact that the GJM leadership threw its support for the hunger strike by its youth wing. Meanwhile, GNLF and other hill parties today lodged a missing complaint against Darjeeling MP and BJP leader S S Ahluwalia who, they alleged, “has not been seen in the hills in the last few months.”
You may also want to watch:
“The hills are burning. We want to know where is our MP. He has been missing for the last few months. We have not seen him since the unrest began in the hills. So we have filed a missing complaint,” a GNLF leader said. Ahluwalia could not be contacted for a reaction. The supporters of the GJM and other hill parties also held a demonstration today outside the district magistrate’s office demanding restoration of Internet services which remained suspended. Some political party activists, dressed in traditional Nepali attire, took out rallies in the morning.
The police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a tight vigil at every entry and exit points. All shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed except pharmacies.