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Arms haul in Assam points to new Gorkha militant outfit

The two were allegedly carrying the consignment in a Tata Safari with West Bengal registration.

Written by Subrata Nagchowdhury | Kolkata |
November 10, 2014 3:28:16 am

Preliminary investigation into the huge arms and ammunition haul Saturday near the Assam-West Bengal border has revealed that the consignment was meant for a new underground Gorkha outfit in Darjeeling — United Gorkha Peoples Organisation (UGPO).

The revelation was made during the interrogation of two arrested youths — Umesh Karmi (29) from Lankapara in Jalpaiguri district and Ganesh Chetry (53) from Baksha district of Assam. The two were allegedly carrying the consignment in a Tata Safari with West Bengal registration.

The Director General of SSB, B D Sharma, Sunday said the Union Home Ministry and West Bengal DGP GMP Reddy have been informed about the seizures and the preliminary findings. A West Bengal police team has left for Siliguri to interrogate the arrested youths and take up the investigation. The SSB has registered a case with the Dhaligaon police station in Chirang district of Assam, where the seizure was made. Police sources said the arms consignment was coming from Dimapur in Nagaland after it was probably smuggled into India through Myanmar, and was heading for Darjeeling in Bengal via Guwahati.

However, acting on a tip-off, the SSB laid a trap at Chapaguri near Bongaigaon, close to West Bengal border, and along with the Assam police and the CRPF, the vehicle carrying the huge sophisticated arms and ammunition consignment was intercepted around 6.30 pm on Saturday.

The sources said apart from the highly sophisticated rifles and pistols, the seizure of AK series ammunition indicated that the likely recipients of the consignment might already have had AK series arms in their possession. Raids were reportedly conducted in Darjeeling on Sunday, but no arrest could be made.

The police was reportedly looking for one Sanjay Rai, who was suspected to be associated with the UGPO — said to be a new organisation that had secretly come up in Darjeeling. More raids are being conducted both at Lankapara in Jalpaiguri and Baksha in Assam and other destinations in Darjeeling, the police said. Lankapara in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri is a known hotbed of Gorkhaland movement activists. Lankapara borders the Bhutan hills.

The seizure

#One M-16 rifle with one magazine and 198 rounds of live rounds

#Two 9mm Beretta pistols with 4 magazines, and 300 live rounds

#Three pistols of .32 bore with 6 magazines and 60 live rounds

#Live AK ammunition – 80 rounds

#2 mobile handsets and Rs 10,000 in cash

#A Tata Safari vehicle

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