Following a tip-off that GJM chief Bimal Gurung was hiding at a resort in Namchi area of Sikkim, the CID conducted a sudden raid at the location late on Saturday, but “narrowly missed” apprehending him. This is the second time that Gurung, who is wanted in various cases, has escaped arrest in the same area — Namchi. This has led some among the top brass of the state home department to question whether Gurung is being warned prior to the raids.
“CID sleuths failed to arrest him, as he managed to escape just minutes before the resort was raided. Sikkim Police was informed of the raid beforehand… In both instances, the raids were conducted after informing Sikkim Police. Now it is very difficult to accept that it is a matter of coincidence that Gurung managed to flee twice by accident,” said a state home department official.
On August 31, CID officials had raided a location in Namchi, where Gurung was chairing an underground central committee meeting of senior GJM leaders. Although officials arrested nine GJM leaders, Gurung, who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, managed to escape.
Following this, state Tourism Minister Gautam Deb had in September alleged that the Sikkim Police allowed Gurung to flee. Since the start of a fresh stir over the demand for Gorkhaland, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling had been backing the movement. In June this year, he had written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh — which he later shared on Facebook — expressing his support for a separate Gorkhaland.
The state government had reacted strongly to the letter, and Trinamool Congress secretary general and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had immediately written a letter to Singh, seeking central intervention to stop the Sikkim government from interfering in the affairs of West Bengal.
“A state must behave in a more responsible manner and everybody is within the purview of the Constitution, and we should be aware of our responsibilities,” Chatterjee had said at a press conference.