Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lepchas withdraw fast in Sikkim

GANGTOK Aug 21: Members of the Affected Ctizens of Teesta “temporarily” withdrew their indefinite hunger-strike on the 62nd day of the agitation today following chief minister Mr Pawan Chamling’s “personal appeal.” The ACT members had launched the hunger-strike to protest against the upcoming hydroeletric projects at Dzongu in North Sikkim.Two ACT members ~ Mr Dawa Lepcha and Mr Tenzing Gyatso Lepcha ~ took juice from their president Mr Athup Lepcha at the STNM hospital here to end the fast. Ms Chungthik Lepcha, SDM and Mr Dhiren Lama, SDPO, were also present at the STNM hospital when the ACT activists withdrew their fast. “We have called off the hunger-strike following Mr Chamling’s personal appeal. The CM has assured us of fresh negotiation,” Mr Sherap Lepcha, an ACT activist, said. The ACT, however, would continue relay hunger-strike, he added. The Congress leaders, meanwhile, have refused to comment on the development. “We had only supported the cause for which the hunger-strike was launched. We did not force the ACT activists to continue their agitation. If they have withdrawn their fast, it is their business, not ours,” Mr Kunga Lima Lepcha, a Congress spokesperson, said.