Fasting GJM activists critical

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Siliguri, Feb 23 (UNI) The condition of 13 Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists, of the 110 on indefinite hunger strike, deteriorated today, even as the general strike in the hills entered the fourth day with the agitators offering a four-hour relief.

GJM activists lifted the strike from 1100 hours to 1500 hours to enable people buy essentials commodities.

The GJM had called the strike at Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong to protest the Sixth Schedule status given to the Hills instead of statehood.

GJM president Bimal Gurung said the hunger and general strike would continue till their demands were fulfilled.

The activists were demanding resignation of Gorkha National Liberation Front chairman Subash Ghisingh, who had struck a deal with the Centre to provide the Sixth Schedule status.

''We will continue with our strike till the Sixth schedule was cancelled and Mr Ghisingh removed from the post,'' Mr Gurung said.

He also alleged that the GNLF members attacked some of their activists.

The GNLF chief was in Kolkata to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on the issue.

Mr Ghisingh, who led the hills in the last 21 years, was denied entry in Darjeeling for striking the deal with the Centre and was kept confined at the Pintail village guest house here. He fled from there under tight security of the North Bengal police.

Meanwhile, GJM spokesperson Binoy Tamang described the GNLF supremo's fleeing to Kolkata as a ''great victory''.

''We are planning to go to Gorkha Bhawan in Kolkata, where Mr Ghising had put up and gherao it. He is like a poison in the hills,'' he said.

Mr Gurung said this bore an ample testimony to the fact that the government was not attaching any importance to their demand of Gorkhaland.

UNI XC DPM-PP PL SK RN1637

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