Saturday, June 30, 2007

ACT hunger-strike on, Talks with Sikkim govt Inconclusive

GANGTOK : The meeting between the state government and activists of the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) ended inconclusively today, even as the hunger strike launched by the ACT activists to protest against the upcoming hydroelectric projects in the state entered its 10th day today. Although acting chief minister Mr DD Bhutia who is also the state’s land revenue minister tried hard to pacify the ACT leaders to withdraw their huger strike, all his efforts went in vain. Mr TT Dorji, additional chief secretary, responded to various issues raised by the ACT. He assured the ACT members of considering their demands. Mr KT Gyalsten, political secretary to the chief minister, said the points raised by the ACT were logically right. The acting chief minister, Mr DD Bhutia, instructed the officials concerned to look into the demands raised by the ACT. He urged the ACT members to withdraw their hunger strike unconditionally so that peace could be maintained in the state. “The power projects have been taken up in the best interests of the people of the state. These projects would increase the state’s revenue,” a state government spokesperson, said. Meanwhile, the condition of Mr Dawa Lepcha, general secretary of the ACT who was admitted to the STNM hospital here after he fell ill owing to continuous fast, is stated to be critical. Today, five college girls ~ Pemki Lepcha, Chuki Lepcha, Nimkit Lepcha, Ongmu Lepcha and Lhakit Lepcha ~ joined the hunger strike.