The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Striking rebels say no to drip & water
- Doctors admit to fast getting out of hand

Siliguri, Sept. 20: Disgruntled by the absence of any specific initiative from the government, the 19 militants who are on hunger strike for the past 16 days, refused to take intravenous drips and water at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) from this morning.

“The government has turned a deaf ear to our pleas and we have lost faith in the administration,” a disappointed and weak KLO leader Mrinal Roy said in a hoarse whisper through the window of his ward today.

“We will write to the President as a last attempt and if there is no response even then, we will have no option but to die one by one,” he said.

As the adamant inmates took out the needles from their swollen hands and refused to drink water, a team of senior doctors, along with the principal and the superintendent of NBMCH, rushed to the ward, trying their best to persuade them to take the drip. The on-duty policemen were equally insistent, but to no avail.

“Things are going out of control. We are trying our best but today’s decision has complicated the situation further,” Samir Ghosh Roy, the superintendent, told reporters.

Hearing this new stance of the strikers, the district magistrate, inspector-general of police (north Bengal), district superintendent of police and the public prosecutor visited the medical college this evening, sources said.

Of the 34 undertrials, who are on the third day of their hunger strike at Jalpaiguri Central Jail, five — Bijoy Roy, Bhupesh Das, Manchalal Singha, Sundarlal Singha and Parimal Burman — were admitted to the NBMCH this evening, owing to deteriorating health conditions.

Meanwhile, the militants’ relatives started a non-stop demonstration at the Jalpaiguri district collectorate this evening, confirming that they would not withdraw their movement unless the demands of the undertrials are met.

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