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Gorkhaland protests: GJM demands immediate withdrawal of police as shutdown enters 50th day

Darjeeling: The indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered its 50th day Thursday amidst rallies taken out by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other hill parties.

The GJM rallies demanded restoration of internet services and an immediate withdrawal of police personnel from the hills, while the other parties stuck to the Gorkhaland demand.

Protesters during the shutdown in Darjeeling. PTI

Protesters during the shutdown in Darjeeling. PTI

No incident of violence was reported from the area since Wednesday night, but the police and security personnel kept up their vigil.

GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang said the party leadership would meet on 8 August to decide on the future course of action.

"On July 30, we had given a 10-day deadline to the Union government to intervene in the situation in Darjeeling. But, we are yet to witness any development (on that front). So, on August 8, our top leadership will meet to discuss the next course of action," he told reporters here.

Meanwhile, the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of all the hill parties including the GJM, which is spearheading the Gorkhaland protest, will stage a day-long hunger strike in New Delhi on Friday.

Twelve activists of the Yuva Morcha, the GJM's youth wing, are observing a fast-unto-death since 21 July over the separate state demand.

"We want our separate state of Gorkhaland. And in our new state, there is no place for police personnel from Bengal. The indefinite shutdown will continue, and we are ready to sacrifice our lives for Gorkhaland," said Yuva Morcha president Prakash Gurung.

Barring the pharmacies, all other shops, schools and colleges remained closed in the Darjeeling hills. The internet services are suspended there since 18 June.

Published Date: Aug 03, 2017 21:10 PM | Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 21:10 PM

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