Students sit on hunger strike demanding Gorkhaland

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Darjeeling, Jun 26 (UNI) Ahead of first bi-partite meeting on Darjeeling between West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and GJM leadership in Kolkata, scores of students today went on a hunger strike, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Nearly 70 students in about ten groups began relay hunger strike in at least ten places of hills and plains to mobilise public support for their statehood demand.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) also decided to enforce its regulation like changing number plate of every car from July seven onwards.

GJM spokesman Binoy Tamang today said all cars operating in the hills would have "GL insead of WB". '' While WB stands for West Bengal, the GL is for Gorkhaland, '' explained Tamang.

Meanwhile, a four-member GJM delegation, led by Raju Pradhan, would meet Mr Bhattacharjee at Writers' Buildings to discuss issues on Darjeeling.

The delegation was camping in Kolkata since June 25 in response to the Chief Minister's June 18 invitation calling the GJM leadership to come down to the capital and start negotiation to end the impasse.

The CM's letter was a folow-up of all party meeting held in Writers' Buildings to start dialogue for peaceful settlement of the present problem.

The GJM delegation would press for holding a tri-partite meeting among the Centre, state government and the GJM and lawful action against those involved in ''harrasing'' Nepali community in the plains in the guise of Jan Jagaran, an anti-Gorkhaland outfit launched in Siliguri recently.

GJM spokesman Binoy Tamang claimed since their talk with Union Home Minsiter Shivraj Patil in New Delhi early this week was positive and the Centre was keen to join in the tri-partite meeting if held, the state should come forward if it was interested.

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