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Darjeeling affected for third day

Special Correspondent

Kolkata: Life in the Darjeeling hills in West Bengal was severely affected for the third successive day on Sunday with the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leadership bent upon continuing the indefinite strike it has called till the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) president , whom it accuses of being responsible for the attack on one of its senior leaders last week is arrested.

The GJMM, which is supporting the demand for a separate Gorkhaland State , had observed a 12-hour strike on November 23. It was followed by a call for an indefinite strike from November 24 by the GNLF in protest against the assault on K.B. Gurung, allegedly by GJMM supporters.

“The indefinite strike will continue till Bimal Gurung, the GJMM president and his associates who were behind the attack on K.B. Gurung are arrested”, Shanta Chettri, GNLF MLA told The Hindu over the telephone from Kurseong.

GJMM activists took out a candle light procession in the hill-town on Sunday evening demanding “justice”. They alleged that their leaders were wrongly being accused of the attack on the GNLF leader.

Most shops were closed and traffic suspended because of the strike. Tourists have been greatly inconvenienced as are school students who are unsure whether they will be in a position to appear for the academic year’s final examinations to be held in the coming days.

Ms. Chettri said her party was demanding the speedy introduction in the Lok Sabha of the bill that grants the Sixth Schedule status to the Darjeeling hills — a long-standing demand of Subash Ghisingh, the GNLF president, who was a signatory to a tripartite memorandum of settlement according such a status to the region. The Bill is to be introduced in the on-going winter session of Parliament.

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