Chidambaram appeals to GJM to call off fast-unto-death

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram today appealed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to call off the fast-unto-death programme.

In a statement issued here, he stressed the need for creating a cordial atmosphere for the upcoming tripartite talks.

"A delegation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called on me on December 11. The delegation conveyed to me GJM's intention to call a general strike as well as to launch a fast-unto-death programme by its members. After giving the members of the delegation a patient hearing, I impressed upon them that the tripartite talks were scheduled to be held on December 21 and hence there was no need to adopt an adgitational approach on the eve of such talks.

"Although the call for general strike was issued and was enforced for a day, I was happy to learn that the GJM had called off the general strike on the evening of December 14. However, I understand that the fast-unto-death programme is still continuing. I am also saddened to learn that several hunger strikers are suffering from dehydration and some have been hospitalized," he added.

The statement further said that it is necessary that a cordial and conducive atmosphere is created on the eve of the talks.

"The deteriorating health of some who are fasting is a matter of concern to all of us. Hence, I would appeal to the GJM to call off the fast-unto-death programme immediately and utilise its time and energy to prepare for the tripartite talks," he said.

The demand for Gokhaland gained momentum after New Delhi announced last week that it would carve out a new state of Telangana out of the present state of Andhra Pradesh in south India. (ANI)

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