NGOs cry for govt role

Kalimpong, Feb. 28: Several NGOs here have sought the intervention of the central government and a human rights organisation to save the lives of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha members who are on an indefinite hunger strike.

In separate memorandums to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, the NGOs said the condition of most of the over 200 activists sitting on the hunger strike in the hills was a “matter of concern” and only an “immediate intervention” by authorities would prevent the loss of lives.

Twenty-two Morcha activists have been on fast since February 17, while others joined later. In Kalimpong, 35 supporters are now on fast.

After much persuasion, some of them have started taking medicine. “Six of them, including three women, are on medication. Five others resumed fasting after receiving intravenous treatment in the morning,” said P.T. Sherpa, the subdivisional officer of Kalimpong.

The Morcha has been demanding the removal of Subash Ghisingh as the caretaker administrator of the DGHC and immediate scrapping of the Sixth Schedule bill.

In a letter to the prime minister, Citizen’s Right Forum of Kalimpong pointed out that the whole region has been paralysed by an indefinite bandh. “We request your immediate intervention to bring about an early solution to the problems in the hills,” said forum president N.P. Dixit.

The Kalimpong branch of the Indian Red Cross Society has urged the governor to intervene immediately as the situation has turned alarming. “As the grandson of the Father of the Nation and president of the Red Cross, we request you to come and visit the young souls, determined to end their lives, to defuse the situation and prevent any loss of life,” said O.B. Das, the branch secretary of the society.

Vision Kalimpong has written to the UPA chairperson, requesting her to use her office to bring an end to the hunger strike.

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