GJM asks its youth wing to call off indefinite fast

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) today asked its youth wing to call off the 25-day-old indefinite hunger strike over separate Gorkhaland demand following an appeal by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
GJM asks its youth wing to call off indefinite fast
GJM activists holding placards during a protest

Darjeeling

The indefinite shutdown, which entered its 61st day today, will, however, continue in the hills.
GJM supremo Bimal Gurung in a statement said, "Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday held a meeting with GJM leaders as well as some of the representatives of GMCC (in Delhi). The members of the delegation, especially the GJM gave their viewpoint that nothing short of creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland can help the people of the Darjeeling hills, Dooars and Terai achieve their dreams.
"Given that tomorrow is Independence Day, I am also of view that the home minister's appeal should be respected and the hunger strike by Yuva Morcha should be withdrawn as the first step to achieving our goal of Gorkhaland. I therefore direct the Yuva Morcha to call off the hunger strike on the eve of Independence Day," he said.
Twelve GJM youth wing activists started the fast-untodeath at Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sonada on July 21, over the Gorkhaland demand.
A senior Darjeeling district official said that doctors have been monitoring the health condition of the activists on a regular basis and they would be taken to hospital for check-up after the strike is called off.
GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said that the party has decided that there will be no picketing by its activists at various checkpoints from 6 am to 6 pm on August 15 though the indefinite shutdown will continue in the hills.
During the two-hour meeting chaired by Singh yesterday in New Delhi, the leaders of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), an umbrella organisation of all the hill parties, submitted a memorandum to the Centre detailing their demands.
Singh had requested the leaders of the Gorkhaland statehood movement to call off the indefinite strike and end their hunger strike, a home ministry statement said.
He had also appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders to end the over two-month-long statehood agitation in Darjeeling and to restore civil supplies and Internet facilities in the hills.
The GJM and GMCC are, however, yet to take a call on the indefinite shutdown but has decided to hold a meeting within a day or two to decide on the future course of action.
"We will discuss with GJM supremo Bimal Gurung and other hill parties before taking a final call," GMCC convener and GJM leader Kalyan Dewan said.

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