The 15 companies of Central forces deployed in Darjeeling hills last month, after the revival of the statehood agitation by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), will not be withdrawn at least till October 20.

This was decided after a video conference between the Darjeeling administration and the senior officials of the State Home Department. The meeting was held to review the law and order situation in the hills.

The GJM-led Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC), spearheading the movement in the hills, had decided to suspend the agitation till October 20.

It had revived the statehood demand in the wake of the Union government’s decision to carve out a separate State of Telangana.

After a series of bandhs and shutdowns, the Joint Action Committee had said that it was suspending its movement in deference to an appeal by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. He had set this condition for commencement of tripartite talks.