Police starts harassing Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP)

Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) soldier for the movenet
Members of the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP), the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's voluntary brigade comprising youths from the hills, today claimed the police had started harassing them without  any provocation to give anxious moments to their families. The GJM raised the GLP in 2009 asserting their primary job would be to control crowds during the party’s public meetings.
However, after the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the GLP has more or less become inactive. Today, some GLP members alleged that since the past few days, the police had started  visiting their place of work asking for their personal details such as names, address and phone numbers and even taking photographs of their homes. “This kind of activity by the police is creating panic and  terrorising our family members. The GLP is not active now. Presently, we are engaged with various private enterprises for our livelihood,” said Jogmaya Thapa, a GLP member.
Thapa said the GLP was formed in 2009 for the community and land and that they were trained by retired soldiers to lead disciplined lives and work for social causes in the hills besides managing crowds  at GJM meetings. She also said, “We helped when cyclone Aila struck and a huge fire devastated properties in Darjeeling. We have been taught to be disciplined. In fact, when we were active some senior  police officials visited our camps and did not say they found anything suspicious. But all of a sudden, why are the police behaving in such a manner and creating an air of uneasiness for us?"
It is learnt that some GLPs have been given temporary employment in various departments of the GTA, while others have chosen to leave the country to find jobs abroad. There is no official record of the number of GLPs but sources said during the height of the second round of statehood agitation, nearly 10,000 to 15,000 personnel were raised and trained in camps in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. They were given Rs1,000 as remuneration by the GJM along with clothes, shoes and other amenities. However, by the time the GLP became inactive as a force, their numbers had dwindled to about 4,000-5,000.
In 2010, B.L. Meena, the administrator of the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, had lodged a police complaint against the GLP for illegally occupying government properties. The GJM had housed them in DGHC properties in Delo, Relli, Pedong, Phugu and Roy Villa. Acting on the complaint, the police vacated the GLPs from the properties.
Sachin Thakuri, another GLP member, said the GLPs were aware nothing could be achieved through violence even as he said they were ready to support a statehood agitation. “We are not anti-social and do not indulge in anti-national activities. We have always believed and will follow democratic means to agitate for a separate state,” he said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has warned that any armed agitation would be dealt with appropriately. The warning comes after GJM chief Bimal Gurung recently announcing a fresh movement for aseparate state. The GJM’s youth and women's wings have already started holding weekly rallies and public meetings, while the party’s student front is on a relay hunger strike for the statehood demand.
Several police officers refused to comment but additional police superintendent S.P. Yadav said, “I am not aware and do not have any information in this regard. Please talk to my superiors." (EOIC)

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