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GJM under scanner after arms seizure along Assam-Bengal border

Police arrested two men - Umesh Karmi (29), a resident of Lankapara in Jalpaiguri and Ganesh Chhetri (53), a resident of Baksha district of Assam on Saturday.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published: November 11, 2014 7:17:37 pm

An investigation into the chance seizure of a huge cache of sophisticated arms and ammunition from Assam-Bengal border reveals the alleged complicity of a section of the ruling Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leaders and cadres in Darjeeling who might have tried to smuggle in the consignment from Dimapur.

Sanjay Rai Thulung, a Gorkha Territorial Administraton (GTA) Sabhasad ( Elected representative) from Takdah-Glenburn was found absconding when police raided his house and the investigators are conducting raids at several other hideout in search of Thulung.

Meanwhile, the investigators revealed that Umesh Karmi, who was arrested with the consignment of arms used to work as the driver of GJM president Bimal Gurung for a long time. A couple of years ago, he left his job and started working as a transporter in the Assam-Bengal region. However, Karmi has always been believed as an associate of some senior GJM leaders and had been in touch with them. Police is interrogating Umesh.

Police arrested two men – Umesh Karmi (29), a resident of Lankapara in Jalpaiguri and Ganesh Chhetri (53), a resident of Baksha district of Assam on Saturday. The two were allegedly carrying the consignment in a Tata Safari with West Bengal registration. A team from West Bengal police has already reached Assam and interrogated the duo, while Darjeeling district police is likely to plead for the custody of Karmi and Chhetri.

According to a police report submitted to the state home department, the arrested persons during interrogation revealed that they have been asked to carry the consignments of arms to Darjeeling. It could be gathered that some sections of local leaders in Darjeeling was trying to build an armed group that was named as ‘Gorkha Liberation Army’. The report also mentioned that the ruling GJM has split within and at present thre are two prominenet groups with one trying to prepare for a fresh armed struggle in future.

The Intelligence reports particularly indicated at the Youth wing of the GJM – known as teh Gorkha Yuva Morcha – a large number of whom wre disillusoned with the present GJM leadership and they thought that the present leaders have allegedly “compromisd” on teh separate statehood issue by accepting the GTA. The Yuva Morcha leaders have talked about a fresh movement for Gorkhaland and Thulung was said to be an important functionary of the Gorkha Yuva Morcha.

The report further says that the arms which were handed over to a courier company in Dimapur in Nagaland are of Chinese make. Police yesterday detained wife of Sanjay Thulung in the police station and interrogated her for several hours in the police station. She was later released from the police station. Thulung belongs to a family working in Glenburn tea estate. The report mentioned Thulung as an ex-member of Gorkhaland Police (GLP), a force raised by Bimal Gurung during the Gorkhaland movement in 2008. Thulung was made the vice president of the Gorkha Youth Morcha, GJM sources said.

While GJM leaders including Benoy Tamang, vice president of GJM and Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary could not be reached, GJM MLA and senior leader of the party, Harka Bahadur Chhetri termed Thulung as a ‘decent and qualified’ person. “We are surprised to hear his name in this connection. There can be a conspiracy and his name could have been planted to malign GJM. We want a proper investigation to take place in this case and the truth to come out.”

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