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Featured Image: Leaders addressing the Press after the all-party meet at Kalimpong on Thursday. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 29 June: TO buy more time for the Centre to intervene in the Darjeeling impasse, political parties and some social organisations in the Hills have “unanimously” decided to continue with the on-going general strike which the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) had called with effect from 15 June.

Barring this, the near 5.30 hours meeting of 13 political and social organisations of the Hills held in a hotel at Kalimpong today failed to chalk out any new strategy or agitation programme to push for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The meeting, however, formed an all-party forum named Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee to take forward the agitation to the national level. The 30 member committee is to have two representatives each from the 13 organisations present in today’s meeting, and two members each from the Terai and Dooars regions home to a sizeable Nepali-speaking population.

Addressing the Press after the meeting, GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang claimed that the decision to continue with the strike had been taken unanimously. This is even as the people in the Hills are facing extreme difficulty in procuring essential items and students are facing problems in seeking admission to colleges and universities as the strike entered 15th day today.

Tamang said that Kalyan Dewan has been selected the convener, and DK Pradhan the assistant convener of the coordination committee formed today. Both of them are from GJM.

Other parties would nominate their representatives later after consulting their leaderships. This is because none of the top leaders of the parties attended the meeting; even the GJM chief Bimal Gurung skipped the meet so to evade being arrested by the police for instigating the recent violence and arson in the Hills.

“The committee would meet on 6 July to decide on an action plan for Gorkhaland agitation,” Tamang said, adding that its terms-of-reference is that, it should not take any stand other than on Gorkhaland.