Gurung on run; Darjeeling bandh enters 82nd day

| | Kolkata

With the fierce “power play” among leaders getting more spiteful and the State police launching a massive manhunt for “fugitive” Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung booked under UAPA the grim situation in Darjeeling tended to get dismal by the day.

This even as the ongoing indefinite bandh entering its 82nd day on Sunday heaping untold misery on the local people.

A third IED explosion completely ruining the police outpost at Six Miles area near Darjeeling tended only to complicate the situation, sources said. No one was injured in the blast the police said.

No shops opened and even the occasional vehicles that ran with borrowed doctors’ or Press sticker had stopped plying for the past couple of days particularly after “GJM leader Benay Tamang’s expulsion from the party for his taking a stand by temporarily suspending the indefinite strike to make way for dialogue followed by the State police’s botched attempt to arrest Gurung from Namchi in Sikkim.

A look out notice had been issued against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri by the police, said ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma on Friday.

Even as the police launched a massive manhunt for Gurung and his deputy Roshan Giri a second letter for permission to conduct raids in certain places was dashed off to the SP of Namchi area in Sikkim a senior police officer said complaining on the earlier occasion a section of Sikkim Police had “not cooperated with us allowing Gurung to take the opportunity and flee.”

The police had been frantically searching for Gurung since Friday following a blast near Darjeeling. The GJM chief had been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The police action was countered by rallies by GJM supporters who had organized marches at Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada, Darjeeling and other places. Whatever small shops were opening for the past few days were forced to shut down by the GJM men, sources said.

The strike tended to be more vigorously enforced by GJM after the party leadership revoked Tamang’s decision to suspend the bandh till September 12 — when the second round of Government-GJM talks would be held — and expulsion of Tamang himself.

Gurung, who wanted the UAPA to be revoked against him before bandh was withdrawn, resumed the bandh and got Tamang expelled for joining hands with the State Government.

Tamang whose house was subsequently ransacked by GJM supporters and who had since been provided unprecedented security by the police on Sunday attacked his leaders saying he should not be provoked into revealing corruption how corrupt they were.

“I should not be provoked to tell who has taken how much money and who owns flats in Kolkata and other places,” Tamang said. 



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