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Police officers contest on Bimal Gurung's arms claim

Police claimed Arms seized from camp near Little Rangeet river
Darjeeling: Police officers have said they have concrete evidence to counter Bimal Gurung's claim that he had not stockpiled arms over the past few years and added that all the evidence would be produced in court against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief.

Gurung had on Wednesday accused the Bengal government of hatching "a conspiracy" to defame him and said that the weapons, including nine AK-47s, recovered from the site of clash on the banks of the Little Rangeet river last week were from surrendered KLO activists.

"In 2014, Assam police had intercepted arms that were being ferried to Darjeeling based on specific inputs from the Subsidiary Intelligence Branch, which is a central government agency. Two persons, Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, had been arrested. Kami was a GLP cadre and worked as a driver for Gurung. Chhetri was a middleman," said a senior Bengal police officer.

"Kami is still behind bars. During investigation, Yuva Morcha leader and former GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung's name had cropped up and a warrant was issued against him in Assam. Will Gurung now claim that Kami was not with him? Why was Thulung suspended from the party then? Did Assam police also conspire against him three years ago?" he asked.

The officer said that the arms that had been intercepted by Assam police in August 2014 were the third consignment and two previous ones had already reached the hills by then. The arms had allegedly been bought from the Nagaland-based NSCN (K) group.

The police officers also spoke of alleged trips Yuva Morcha president Prakash Gurung had made to Nepal during the strike.

"Prakash Gurung went to Nepal twice in August and September, when the strike was on, to get arms. The weapons were smuggled through Maney Bhanjyang. We now have evidence to prove whose vehicles had been used for the trips, the details of the middlemen and how many times the vehicles had been changed," said the officer.

The officer said the gelatine sticks recovered from the hills had been stolen from the godown of a hydel project situated at Negi under the leadership of Yuva Morcha leaders Rikash Theeng and Bhim Subba on July 20.

Sources said that the person arrested from the Little Rangeet camp after the clash had revealed that 15 to 16 boys stayed there and Gurung frequented the place.

"Gurung also stayed at a camp near Glenburn tea garden at Lapcha busty. He later came to the camp near the Little Rangeet river from Sikkim," another officer said.

Political analysts pointed out that Gurung would be further alienated from the hill people and the possibility of him attending any talks if it could be proved that he had been planning to resort to an armed struggle

Giri house

Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, claimed on Thursday that the police had vandalised his house in Darjeeling. The police denied the charge.

Source: The Telegraph

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