Youth in arms haul a Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) cadre

Youth in arms haul a Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) cadre
The interrogation of the youth from Alipurduar, arrested while bringing an arms consignment to Bengal, has revealed that he is a member of the Gorkhaland Personnel, a volunteer force of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, a source in a central intelligence agency said in Guwahati.

While intelligence sources today linked the arms consignment intercepted in Assam to Yuva Morcha leader Sanjay Thulung, in Darjeeling Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said attempts were being made to malign the party.

Giri was referring to the raid on Sunday at the residence of Thulung, who is an elected GTA Sabha member, in connection with the haul.

According to a central intelligence source, the arrested youth Umesh Kami had said he had attended training sessions of the Gorkhaland Personnel near Gorubathan in Darjeeling.

"He got acquainted with Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha leader Sanjay Thulung during a Morcha meeting in Darjeeling in 2012. According to Kami, Sanjay had asked him to bring the arms consignment from Dimapur in Nagaland to Darjeeling," the intelligence source told The Telegraph in Guwahati

"Kami claims he doesn't know for what purpose Sanjay would have used these arms and ammunition," the source added.

Giri said the party was feeling that attempts were being made to suppress the Gorkhaland demand and malign the hill outfit.

He said the party would hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.

"The party will sit for a meeting tomorrow. The party will also try and investigate the matter on its own. We are feeling that attempts are being made to suppress the Gorkhaland demand and malign the image of the party," Giri said in the first official reaction from the party, though party leaders had spoken in their individual capacity yesterday.

Ganesh Chhetri, who is a member of a militant outfit called the United Gorkha People's Organisation, is the other person who was arrested with the arms in Chirang district in lower Assam.

The Tata Safari in which Ganesh and Umesh were travelling had an M16 rifle, two Beretta pistols, three .32 bore pistols, 300 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 80 rounds of ammunition of AK-series rifles, 198 rounds of M16 ammunition and 60 rounds of .32 ammunition.

Sources in Assam police had claimed that Chhetri had said he was taking the consignment for "a political leader from Darjeeling" but had refused to disclose the name of the political leader.

Giri's comment comes at a time the Morcha is mobilising hundreds of supporters for a three-day dharna in Delhi to press for Gorkhaland starting December 18.

The party has decided to organise the dharna at Jantar Mantar on December 18 and 19 followed by a public meeting at Talkatora Stadium the next day. Gurung has already directed the 630 primary school teachers and 269 secondary teachers, who got their appointment after the GTA was formed, to compulsorily attend the Delhi event.

Meanwhile, Gautam Deb, north Bengal development department minister, who was in Darjeeling today, said the incident was "serious". "I do not want to comment as I am on an official visit to Darjeeling. However, the public is taking note of all the developments. The issue is serious as the region is vulnerable and is surrounded by international borders."

Deb was in Darjeeling to attend a meeting of the Rogi Kalyan Samity. He also visited various sites in Kurseong to set up a branch office of the north Bengal development department.

Deb said they were hoping to start the office on a temporary basis this month before a fully-fledged office is set up within the next four to five months.

The Telegraph

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