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Priyabardan Rai Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha general secretary arrested

Priyabardan Rai, general secretary Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha
Darjeeling police today arrested Priyabardan Rai, a general secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, at a time police are looking for Sanjay Thulung, the outfit's vice-president, for his alleged links in an Assam arms haul case.

Asked if Rai too was arrested in connection with the arms haul, Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Darjeeling police superintendent, said: "No, it is with regard to old pending cases."

He gave no details on which old cases Rai was arrested.

Many Morcha leaders have cases pending against them but the police's decision to pick up Rai from the Badamtam area near Darjeeling town this evening, especially when another senior Yuva Morcha leader is untraceable, has raised eyebrows in the hills.

When his reaction was sought on the arrest, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: "I am attending a function. I have not heard of any arrests."

Party assistant secretary Jyoti Kumar Rai said: "I have no comments."

On November 8, darjeeling resident Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri from Assam were arrested after a search of their Tata Safari yielded 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.

The two were held in Chirang district in lower Assam.

On November 21, the Darjeeling police chief had said that a lot of names of political leaders were emerging in the arms haul case. "During interrogation (of the two accused arrested), a lot of names have come up. We are verifying the facts," Chaturvedi had said.

Asked if the names were that of political leaders, Chaturvedi had said: "Yes, of course."

Chhetri had reportedly told the police in Assam that he was carrying the arms for a political leader in Darjeeling.

Source: The Telegraph

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