Gorkhaland protest: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to call off their hunger strike today

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Keeping in mind the appeal of the Home Minister and honouring it, I was conveyed that the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) held a meeting in Delhi today, where they urged me to call off the ongoing hunger strike by the yuva morcha in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong...

Singh said by withdrawing the hunger strike on the eve of Independence Day, the leaders have shown "nationalist approach, political maturity & wisdom".

The home ministry had also released a statement on Sunday, in which, Singh said, "Keeping in mind the national interest, as well as in the interest of our Gorkha brothers and sisters, who are courageous and large hearted people and have contributed immensely to nation building, I appeal to GJM and all other stakeholders to call off the hunger strike, and also to withdraw the bandh call, allowing normalcy to return to the area".

GJM chief Bimal Gurung and General Secretary Roshan Giri were expected to meet Rajnath Singh but did not turn up. Internet services have also been snapped in the hills since June 18.

With the agitation leading nowhere in real terms, the GMCC has found itself in an awkward situation ever since the Centre washed its hands of the statehood issue, and put the ball in the Mamata government's court.

Though the GJM and the BJP have been alliance partners since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, leaders of the saffron party were unhappy with the way in which the protest unfolded in the region.

A Press Information Bureau release quoted Singh as saying that the government was aware of the strategic importance of the region and the challenges it faced. The home minister appealed to the leaders to call off the indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling, which entered 60th day on Sunday.

He said that a decision with regard to calling off the agitation would be taken "in a few days after consulting our leadership and other parties".

In a meeting with the leaders of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in New Delhi, Mr. Singh appealed them to allow returning normalcy to the area which will help to create an atmosphere for finding a solution to the current crisis.

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