A high intensity blast shook Darjeeling’s Chowkbazar in the wee hours of Saturday, the first such incident since the indefinite shutdown to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland began in the Hills over two months ago. Following this, police booked Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and several others under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged involvement in the blast. Though no casualty was reported, police said several shops were destroyed due to the explosion that took place around 12.50 am in front of the old supermarket near Singamari Motor Syndicate in Chowkbazar.
“We have recovered some wires from the spot, which establishes that it was an IED explosion. Prima facie we suspect that Gorkha leaders, namely Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung and Praveen Subba, were behind the explosion. They are basically trying to create panic among the people of Darjeeling,” Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi said. Demanding an NIA probe, GJM claimed the blast was executed by those who are not in favour of Gorkhaland. “We believe it was the handiwork of those who do not want Gorkhaland to be formed,” Gurung said. Meanwhile, one civic police personnel was killed in a grenade attack on Kalimpong police station, Darjeeling Range IG Manoj Verma said.