GJM office raided: Protesters clash with police, torch outpost

West Bengal Police recovered a huge cache of arrows, large number of crackers, one country-made pistol, Khukris, axes and cash. Following the raid, GJM Central Committee announced an indefinite strike in the hills.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Darjeeling | Updated: June 15, 2017 4:56 pm
Police posted outside GJM leader Bimal Gurungs’ house on Thursday morning. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

In an early morning raid at the GJM party office in Patlaybas, near the party chief Bimal Gurung’s house, police recovered sophisticated cross-bows, a huge cache of arrows, large number of crackers, one country-made pistol, Khukris, axes and cash. Following the raid, GJM Central Committee announced an indefinite strike in the hills.

Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi said, “We had information that GJM workers were gathering in the area. We raided at three places and recovered firearms, materials which look like bomb-making ingredients, contraband and lethal weapons. We are investigating the entire incident and legal action will be taken.”

Darjeeling unrest live updates

A senior police officer said, “We have recovered sophisticated bows and arrows and other weapons after our raid at the party office of GJM.” Senior IPS officer Javed Shamim was present when the raid was carried out.

In response to the raids, Assistant General Secretary of GJM, Binay Tamang said, “Following the police atrocities on our democratic movement, we have decided to call an indefinite strike at the hills.”

Incidents of arson and sporadic clashes broke out soon after the raid. A police outpost in Kalimpong was torched by protesters. Heavy stone-pelting were seen near Darjeeling, with a few protesters using slingshots. They raised slogans saying this will turn into another Kashmir.

Weapons seized by the police from GJM’s office. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

Since Thursday morning, heavy deployment of armed police was seen in Singmari and Patlaybas. Interestingly, GJM was scheduled to hold rallies today in different parts of Darjeeling. Police personnel were deployed at various cross-section of major roads in Darjeeling to prevent any untoward incident.

GJM claimed that its Women Morcha was scheduled to hold rallies in Darjeeling. However police raided its party office and prevented any assembly of its supporters.  “These are mere bows and arrows and crackers which are not illegal to possess. The police is trying to frame us,” Tamang added. Since the raid GJM Chief Bimal Gurung has gone underground.

On Tuesday, police had resorted to lathicharge on GJM supporters at Chowk Bazar area after stones were pelted at policemen. The agitation by GJM which began in Darjeeling in protest against the “imposition” of Bengali on hill people took a u-turn with the party now demanding a separate Gorkhaland.

The raids come a day after Gurung announced that the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland will continue and asked tourists to avoid visiting Darjeeling. In a statement to the media on Wednesday, Gurung said, “It is not only a matter of tourists. They should try and avoid Darjeeling. Our agitation will go on. Let CRPF and Army men be deployed.”

Also Read: Politics of language: As old as the hills, now new trigger for statehood stir

A huge posse of police were involved in the raid at GJM party office, adjacent to Bimal Gurung’s residence. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

This move has prompted BJP’s Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia to ask the Union Home Ministry to appoint a committee of experts to look into the demand.

In the meantime, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in Raj Bhavan on Wednesday even as the government appointed C Murugan as the new secretary of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in the backdrop of the ongoing unrest in Darjeeling hills.

Starting out as a protest against the “forced imposition of the Bengali language”, the agitations have now transformed into renewed demands for a separate Gorkhaland.

Also Read: Govt appoints new GTA secretary, Gurung says protest will continue

Responding to the government’s decision, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told the Indian Express on Wednesday: “This decision hardly affects us. The GTA has been ineffective. Mamata Banerjee has never allowed it to function. And now if she decides to change the secretary, how does it matter to us? As far as we are concerned, when we have Gorkhaland, GTA is irrelevant.”

 

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  1. J
    Joi
    Jul 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm
    They mean, they want to make an 'East India Company' just like written in history that some groups want to have Bussiness development. Mamta ma'am will surely not want to make another East India company.
    Reply
    1. G
      Gopal Das
      Jun 16, 2017 at 6:49 am
      What ever may be the issue, from 1970 they are under various plea taking the agitation onward. Under Left Front Govt. They allied with TMC to carry on sabotage work. Now the clash is with TMC. A dirty politics is going on. Whoever may be in the Govt. the issue requires strict handling, track down all the agitators. Otherwise it will be Kashmir like situation.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kamal Pasha
        Jun 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm
        Very soon every state of India will rise for independence. People are fed up with BJP and Hindutva parties. These parties have destro Mahatama's peaceful Desh.
        Reply
        1. I
          indian man
          Jun 15, 2017 at 10:51 pm
          Who do you think should lead India.? Rahul Ga ndhi? Who is having his vacation at Italy.
          Reply
          1. S
            Sekar
            Jun 16, 2017 at 6:25 am
            Having IQ low enough to blame BJP for every problem is convenient. So read this slowly. Mamta Bannerjee is the Chief Minister of West Bengal. She is from TMC which has no link with BJP. it is she who Bengali compulsory and not BJP. From your name, I will suggest that you should be honest​ at least in the month of Ramzan.
            Reply
          2. C
            chitta
            Jun 15, 2017 at 9:26 pm
            Darjeling people must demand independence from India.
            Reply
            1. B
              Bhadrapati Devi
              Jun 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm
              It is ridiculous on the part of Mamata Banu to impose Bengali on Gorkha in Hill. Gor nd demand is the legitimate demand because of the move of Govt. imposing language and culture against other minority community. The present catch of arrow and bow, Khukri and fire crackers is a mockery of the law enforcement authorities high handedness. It will compound the problem like Kashmir where all Gorkha including other minorities will join the demand for separate state.
              Reply
              1. J
                Jai hind
                Jun 15, 2017 at 11:28 pm
                😛😛😛 wot about imposing hindi by Central government in TN and southern states .. ... Aah u might say it's national language .... Then Until g ka land is a part of WB ... Bengali is their mother tongue ... Wots wrong in imposing it ? ... Common badra ..y do u take a double standard stand in every matter
                Reply
              2. L
                Lyngdoh
                Jun 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm
                I think the best way to deal with Nepalis/Gorkhas is what the local tribes like Khasis and Garos had dealt with them. And no racist movement has ever bore positive fruits, so continue with all this hate , violence, racist and foul ideology ... the truth is perhaps its only India where you can get away by burning, bullying and abusing the people in uniform ...Had this been in stan or even a sick country like Bangladesh I would have seen how easy it would be to throw stones at police all in the name of stupid nationalistic feelings of "being a nepali"... Wonder why does not even Nepal give a hoot at all this
                Reply
                1. B
                  Bhadrapati Devi
                  Jun 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm
                  Your comment is more racial than democratic protest of Gorkha in Hill. Why you are commenting in the Khasi name? Are you a tail?
                  Reply
                2. M
                  Meem Sarkar
                  Jun 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm
                  you Mamata Banerjee.....ur days are coming......prepare to rest in peace and yourself with a leprosy diseased thief begged as you will not get anybody to in the hell.............You are creating fake news.......Gor nd is a genuine demand.....the place is the place for mongoloid hill people since ancient times......95 percent of civilians of this territory want Gor nd but you are not giving that to them..........if an administration is small it's better to develope just like an example Kerala, Punjab, North eastern states are high HDI states because the administration is small enough to maintain good law and prosperous economy......Mamata, you are becoming a prevention of this country's progress. I am a bengali person from Siliguri and I support Gor nd with my heart. Kill Mamata, save country, save hill people, bring peace to the land. Don't create fake news Mamata.....your days are coming very soon, I guarantee you. You will know what violence means.
                  Reply
                  1. J
                    Jai hind
                    Jun 15, 2017 at 11:32 pm
                    Meem lists all non BJP party r u l I ng States as under developed .... And in meems view UP was under developed until 2017 March and now it's among the most developed state in just three months .... Ain't it ?.... Since BJP started governing ... .. Filthy hate monger who is curse for this country
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      Suresh modi
                      Jun 16, 2017 at 12:01 am
                      Only 5lakh people , out of them 35 are gorkha , are you sick
                      Reply
                    2. M
                      mother
                      Jun 15, 2017 at 6:23 pm
                      what the mother er police is saying bow and arrow and that's arms ?mamta sucker who ever said this the head need to be chopped off then then will know who Gurkha are
                      Reply
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