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Indefinite strike in Darjeeling likely

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 15, 2009

SILIGURI, 14 JUNE: Darjeeling Hills is likely to reel under an indefinite strike either from June or the first week of July.
Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) supremo Mr Bimal Gurung has advised the Hill residents to stockpile essential commodities towards surviving a ‘long-shutdown’ over the Gorkhaland demand.
The GJMM central committee will be meeting in Darjeeling town any day between 20 and 22 June, to pick a date for the indefinite strike to commence, party sources said.
As per the GJMM publicity secretary Mr Binay Tamang, the proposed indefinite shutdown is not linked with the delaying of the tripartite dialogue on Darjeeling by the Centre and is rather a part of its struggle for realising the separate Gorkhaland state.
“We had suspended our agitation from February in view of the Lok Sabha polls and then due to the massive landslides across the Darjeeling Hills. Now that both these are over, we would rejuvenate the agitation and this time it would be more intense then before,” Mr Tamang added.
According to him, other than the indefinite Hills strike, the party would also take up several other agitation programmes, which would be announced only after the central committee had met in Darjeeling between 20 and 22 June.
As a preparation for the impending open-ended shutdown, the GJMM has also identified four godowns at Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong towns, where the party plans to stockpile food grains and other essential commodities.
Meanwhile, even as the wind of a possible shutdown has started blowing over the Hills, a six-member GJMM delegation today left for Delhi to draw assistance from the Central Natural Calamity Relief Fund for the landslide hit Darjeeling Hills.
The delegation included party general secretary Mr Roshan Giri, vice-president Mr Pradeep Pradhan, advisor Mr Trilok Dewan, central committee members Mr Amar Lama, Mr Harkabahadur Chhetri and Mr Rohit Sharma. State urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya has condemned the GJMM threat to go for an indefinite strike in the Hills.
“The Hills has just survived a massive calamity and the relief and restoration is yet to be over. This is a time when everyone should come forward and condemn a shutdown which would only add to the sufferings of the common people,” the minister said.

Source: The Statesman


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