Bimal Gurung, leader of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Pic/AFP
Bimal Gurung, leader of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Pic/AFP

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung on Saturday gave a "Bengal — Darjeeling Choro" call as the indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, entered its 52nd day.

"Bengal — Darjeeling Choro (Bengal — quit Darjeeling)," would be the main slogan of the people of the hills on Independence Day," he said in a statement. "Just as the British exploited us and tortured us, the West Bengal government is also doing the same with the people of the hills, Terai and Dooars. Therefore, when we participate in Independence Day celebrations, we will not only be celebrating our glorious freedom struggle, but will also be protesting against the Bengal's rule."

GJM activists took out rallies, demanding restoration of Internet services, which have been suspended since June 18, and an immediate withdrawal of the police from the hills.

Meanwhile, GJM leader Norbu Lama, a close associate of Gurung, was arrested by the CID for his alleged involvement in arson and violence in the hills last month.