Supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) marched in processions in the Darjeeling hills as the indefinite strike demanding a separate state of ‘Gorkhaland’ entered the eleventh day today. GJM supremo Bimal Gurung last night in a video message asked everyone to hit the streets and cautioned that some leaders from other parties might try to “betray” the Gorkhaland agitation. “I urge everyone to hit the streets in protest. All leaders should hit the streets with workers and the common people. We are ready for talks only on the issue of Gorkhaland, not on any alternative formula,” Gurung said in a video message. “Some leaders of different parties may betray our cause. Remember that one day, everyone has to die. Either my body will go home or I will return with Gorkhland,” he said.
Except medicine shops, all other shops and markets, schools and colleges remained closed. Vehicles were also off the roads. Internet services remained suspended for the eighth day. Security forces have been patrolling the streets.
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Elected members of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), belonging to the GJM which is leading the stir, have already resigned from the autonomous body. The party has decided to burn copies of the GTA Accord, reached in 2011 between the Union home ministry, the West Bengal government and the GJM, on June 26 and 27.