Fast-unto-death begins to give impetus to Gorkhaland movement
Darjeeling, July 21: A group of 12 persons, belonging to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's youth wing, will start their fast-unto-death, beginning from Friday, to press their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
"The Morcha's youth wing will go on an indefinite hunger strike from Friday," said Prakash Gurung, president of the GJM's youth wing. The fast will take place in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik.
"We have finalised the names of 12 members who have volunteered to undertake the fast. We will not reveal their names now," a leader of the Morcha's youth wing was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
The decision to hold the fast does not have the approval of all the pro-Gorkhaland parties, under the umbrella of Gorkhaland Movement Co-ordination Committee, however, the Morcha insisted that the hunger strike would lend impetus to their movement and draw national attention, especially at a time when Parliament is in session.
The indefinite bandh called by the GJM, which is spearheading the ongoing agitation to demand a separate homeland for the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling and its neighbouring areas, entered its 37th day on Friday.
On Thursday, pro-Gorkhaland protesters hosted a demonstration outside the district magistrate's office in Darjeeling, demanding the restoration of internet services, which remained suspended for the past 33 days in the hills.
Some political activists dressed in traditional Nepali attire took out rallies in Darjeeling on Thursday. Police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a tight vigil at every entry and exit points.
All shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed but pharmacies were open.
On Thursday, several incidents of violence and arson were reported from various parts of the tourist town. The women's wing of the GJM has decided to take out a "dhikkar" (condemnation) rally on Friday in Darjeeling.