Massive hunt for Gurung, shutdown continues
Darjeeling (WB), Sep. 2 (PTI): A massive search operation was launched by the West Bengal Police today in the Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas for the absconding GJM supremo Bimal Gurung, even as the indefinite shutdown for a separate Gorkhaland entered its 80th day.
West Bengal Minister Gautam Deb has accused the Sikkim government and police administration of helping Gurung and his associates to flee.
The Sikkim government might have a “hidden agenda” behind its alleged move to help Gurung flee during a raid by the West Bengal police in that state yesterday, he said.
A lookout notice had been issued against Gurung, who has cases under the UAPA against him, on Friday for his alleged involvement in various cases, including a bomb blast in Kalimpong police station in which a civic volunteer was killed.
Gurung had described the issuance of the lookout notice against him as a “conspiracy” by the West Bengal government.
The shutdown in the hills is on after Gurung revoked party convenor Tamang’s decision of suspending it till September 12, when the next round of dialogue with the state government is scheduled.
Protests by pro-Gorkhaland supporters demanding continuation of the shutdown rocked various parts of the hills and the situation remained tense.
Rallies in support of the ongoing shutdown and Gorkhaland were taken out in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada and Kalimpong.
Picketing by GJM supporters has been strengthened in several parts of the hills and posters and leaflets were distributed in support of the shutdown.
The South Sikkim district police had yesterday alleged that the West Bengal police entered its jurisdiction posing as tourists and shot dead a GJM supporter and arrested four leaders of the outfit.
Meanwhile, Tamang today questioned Gurung’s decision to expel him lashed out at him and party general secretary Roshan Giri.
Tamang also justified the decision to his joining the August 29 meeting convened by the state government to discuss the situation in the hills.
The chairman of Kurseong municipality Krishna Limbu was arrested during the day for his alleged involvement in cases of arson and violence in the hills in June, when the Gorkhaland agitation began.