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Featured Image: Wielding machete in hands, GJM cadres take part in a rally in Darjeeling on Tuesday.   

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 11 July: TO give the on-going Gorkhaland agitation the much needed push, leaders of all political parties in the Hills will go for an indefinite fast from Saturday 15 July. This will be simultaneous to the indefinite shutdown that is on in the Hills since 15 June.

The twin decisions have been announced following a meeting of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) at Mirik this afternoon. GMCC is a platform of 13 political and social outfits active in the Hills.

As the GMCC meeting was underway at the Mirik Youth Hostel, thousands of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) cadres kept on shouting slogans outside the venue in favour of continuing the strike and stepping up the agitation.

Also during the day, GJM cadres took out rallies in Darjeeling town wielding Khukris (machete) in their hands. The twin moves were aimed at maintaining physiological pressure on the GJMCC stakeholders so that they do not water down the agitation.

Addressing the Press after the marathon GMCC meeting at Mirik, Gorkha National Liberation Front leader Neeraj Zimba said that the hunger fast would be held at Chowrastha in Darjeeling town and “leaderships” of all parties would join in.

He did not clarify whether GNLF president Mann Ghising and GJM chief Bimal Gurung would be taking part in the fasting agitation. Interestingly, none of the top leaders of the parties like GNLF, GJM, All India Gorkha League, or Jan Andolan Party, were present in today’s meeting of the GMCC.

GMCC meeting has also adopted a couple of other important decisions. These include, returning of all awards conferred by the state government to creative personalities in the Hills on 13 July, and gherao demonstration in front of all SDO and DM offices in the Hills on 14 July.

It has also served an ultimatum to the chairman and vice-chairman of all the 16 community development and cultural boards set up by Mamata Banerjee government. “They must put in their papers by 6 pm of 14 July and express solidarity with Gorkhaland movement,” said GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang, who also addressed the Press.

Tamang said that the next meeting of GMCC would be held on 18 July, when the state of the agitation would be reviewed again.