Students launch relay hunger strike, road blockade

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Siliguri, Nov 11 (UNI) The Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha, the students' wing of the GJM, today launched a 48-hour relay hunger strike at various locations of the hill areas as well as economic blockade on National Highways 55 and 31A to demand formation of a separate state.

Students sat on the hunger strike at several locations, including Darjeeling Chowrasta, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Dooars under Jalpaiguri district to demand formation of Gorkhaland.

Vehicles were stranded at various places on NH 55 and 31A, the strategic highways connecting Siliguri to Darjeeling and Sikkim, following the road blockade. The blockade would be lifted at 1300 hrs, GJM sources said.

The GJM also asked all the school principals in the hill subdivisions to postpone examinations from November 15 to November 24 so that the students could participate in the movement.

Students of Class X and XII have however, been exempted from participating in the movement in view of their board examinations.

GJVM general secretary Keshab Raj Pokhrel stated that the agitators would not allow IGP, North Bengal, K L Tamta to enter the hill areas in protest against the police protection being provided to Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League president Madan Tamang.

The GJM activists gheraoed Mr Tamang's residence at Darjeeling and shouted slogans against him, demanding his ouster from the hills, for his anti-GJM statements.

Meanwhile, the ABGL president announced to organise an all-party meeting at Darjeeling to discuss the Gorkhaland issue.

However, the GJM had not yet taken any decision on whether to attend the meeting or not.

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