The indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered its 50th day today 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. No incident of violence was reported from the area since last night, but the police and security personnel kept up their vigil.
GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang said the party leadership would meet on August 8 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 tomorrow.
Twelve activists of the Yuva Morcha, the GJM's youth wing, are observing a fast-unto-death since July 21 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 June 18.