47 GJM members on hunger strike arrested

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Siliguri, Feb 21 (UNI) About 47 Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists were arrested today when they descended on the plains here to continue with their indefinite hunger strike in the hills.

The indefinite general strike by the GJM members in Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling entered the second day today.

North Bengal DIG D T Lepcha said the activists continued to protest defying the imposition of Section 144 CrPC. They were later arrested apprehending any untoward incident here and in Pintail village where Gorkha National Liberation Front(GNLF) chief Subash Ghising had been kept.

The arrested included GJM central committee member Bimal Dorjee, the DIG added.

However, the GJM supporters protested the arrests stating that it was illegal as they had the right to go on hunger strike.

The GNLF supremo, who led the hills for the past two decades, had been denied entry into Darjeeling by the GJM members.

The demonstrators have claimed that the general strike was total and peaceful with all government offices closed following the bandh.

All financial and commercial establishments remained closed.

However, educational institutions remained open as it had not been kept within the purview of the bandh.

Vehicular services on all important highways were disrupted with only Sikkim-bound vehicles allowed to ply, police said.

Telephone services were affected.

The Hills district was in a turmoil after Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subash Ghisingh struck a deal with the Centre giving the hills a Sixth Schedule status instead of statehood.

UNI XC PP KK MS RN1754

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