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Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party plans hunger-strike

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 27, 2007

GCDP plans hunger-strike

Statesman News Service

COOCH BEHAR, Sept. 25: The Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party is planning to organise a fast-unto-death programme soon to get their separate statehood demand fulfilled.

It may be recalled that five persons ~ three policemen and two Greater Cooch Behar People's Association supporters ~ were killed in a violence during GCPA's hunger-strike over the same issue on 20 September 2005. The GCDP, however, is trying to agitate in a peaceful manner this time. According to GCDP sources, the date of the proposed hunger-strike would be finalised in October.

Yesterday, a large number of GCDP supporters participated in a token hunger-strike for six hours at Shahid Baag here. The GCDP president, Mr Ashutosh Barma, said that they are planning to start a fast-unto-death programme within a month.
Mr Barma said they never backtracked from their demand for implementation of the merger treaty by which Cooch Behar State was merged with Union of India. "We are fighting for it since the formation of the GCPA and we are now going to continue the agitation under the GCDP banner," he said.

The GCDP president informed that they have already selected candidates for the next three-tier panchayat elections. The party is likely to field candidates in panchayat samiti and zilla parishad seats. "During campaign, we will give emphasis on implementation of the merger agreement," Mr Barma, said. He added that the formation of a separate state was in the merger agreement and so demanding of a separate state is not very important always. He said that they have no choice of a particular name for the proposed state. It may be Kamtapur or Cooch Behar.

The GCDP president said that they have no enmity with CPI-M, Forward Bloc or any other political party and hence they will not target CPI-M or any other party during electioneering. "Achieving the goal is the main target of the GCDP," Mr Barma, said.
Welcoming the GCDP's plan to participate in elections and field candidates in the panchayat elections, the Cooch Behar Left Front convenor and district CPI-M secretary, Mr Chandi Pal, said: "There are already many parties and we are ready to accept another party in the democratic system." He suggested that the GCDP should shun the path of violence and secessionism. "They should also adopt the democratic system," he added.

"We know that the Kamtapuris are still keeping relations with militant outfits such as Ulfa, KLO and Maoists. If they want to join democratic system they should end their relations with extremist outfits," Mr Pal, said.


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