Another 32 ‘Gorkhaland Personnel’ (GLP) were arrested in the Darjeeling hills as the indefinite bandh by the GJM demanding a separate Gorkhaland state on the lines of Telangana,entered the fifth day today.
The 32 members of GLP,a volunteer force set up by the GJM,were arrested last night for cases of arson in the hills during the bandh and in old cases,taking the total number of arrests to 143,police sources said.
A close aide of GJM President Bimal Gurung Anit Thapawas earlier arrested on August five in old cases. West Bengal Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee,who was in Darjeeling to take stock of the situation had to walk from the office of the superintendent of police to that of the district magistrate on the Kacheri Road during the day because GJM supporters were squatting and shouting slogans.
Banerjee,who met Gorkha Territorial Administration Principal Secretary Ramdas Meena at the Lalkothi yesterday,said that the state government was cooperating to keep peace and maintain law order in hills. He said that he would submit a report to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on his return.
GJM supporters sat on the roads shouting slogans in Darjeeling,Mirik,Sukhipokri,Kalimpong and Kurseong. Five companies of the CRPF that were in the hills were on patrol in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling,Kurseong and Kalimpong,official sources said. Yesterday the state government transferred District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan to Burdwan district. Joint Secretary Finance,Puneet Yadav,would take over as DM,Darjeeling.