GJM activists kick off relay hunger strike over separate Gorkhaland demand

May 10th, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Siliguri (West Bengal), May 10 (ANI): Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists kick started a relay hunger strike in West Bengal’s Siliguri town on Monday to give a fillip to their movement over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The hunger strike was kicked off eyeing upon putting the Centre on the back foot ahead of the sixth round of tripartite talks, involving the Central Government and the representatives of the GJM to be held in New Delhi on May 14.

The hunger strike has been initiated by the women and the students’ wings of the GJM in the Terai-Doars region and the Darjeeling hills.

Reportedly, seven members each from the women and students’ wing have embarked on a relay hunger strike after GJM supporters closed down the Central and State Government offices today.

“We started the relay hunger strike at 11:19 am today and will continue with the strike till our demands are met. We are doing this for the success of the tripartite talks, as we want representation of all lovers of Gorkhaland in the interim council,” said Pampa Tamang, leader of women’s wing of GJM in the Terai region.

Each group will be on hunger strike for 24 hours, after which another group would replace the earlier one, sustaining the momentum of the agitation.

GJM activists and supporters intend to continue the strike till their demands are met at the tripartite talks.”The strike is going to continue for 15 days and if our demands are not met, we will fast unto death,” commented Madhusudan Thapa, an observer of the GJM Terai-Doars Committee.

Earlier on April 9, GJM chief Bimal Gurung met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi, who assured him that he would talk to the Government of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress about the new territory.

The GJM had agreed during the fifth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi to the constitution of Interim Council by next year prior to the creation of a separate state.

Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalese, have been demanding a separate state in Darjeeling hills, to help them protect their culture and heritage. (ANI)

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