Bimal Gurung threats 12-hour strike over raids on Assam arms haul case

Vivek Chhetri and Rajeev Ravidas

Bimal Gurung today went back on his stand of not holding strikes in the Darjeeling hills and threatened a 12-hour shutdown if police did not stop raids in the wake of the Assam arms haul.

Bimal Gurung threats 12-hour strike over raids on arms haul case

“We very strongly protest this…. Today, I have faxed letters to the government of West Bengal, the Prime Minister, home minister and chief minister. The manner in which raids are being conducted in villages and homes is not something good. You must do something about it immediately, otherwise we will call a 12-hour strike. I called up the governor and told him so as well. We may even go for a 72-hour strike,” he said in Kalimpong.

Gurung did not set any deadline for the government.

Home department sources in Calcutta said they had received no such fax at Nabanna till the end of office hours today. A senior government official said if such a fax does arrive, “the Union home ministry will be informed”.

A section in the Morcha today said that though they were against the alleged raids by the police, Gurung’s strike threat had taken them by surprise as he had himself suspended GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung, who is being hunted by the police in connection with the Assam arms haul case.

Thulung is untraceable. Police had raided Thulung’s home after two people caught with the arms and ammunition in Assam were believed to have named him.

The Morcha has also alleged that the police raided the homes of two Morcha supporters, Jaspal Gazmer and Dinesh Theeng, on November 17. The police have denied any such raids.

The Morcha had last called a strike on July 30, 2013, which had extended to over a month when the Congress had taken a decision to carve out the Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh. But after the movement fizzled out following arrests of many Morcha leaders and supporters, the party decided to put a “bandh on bandhs” after meeting Mamata Banerjee in October 2013.

In the Lok Sabha election campaign, Gurung said there would be no strike in the hills and the statehood movement would be confined only to Delhi.

Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, the two arrested with the arms, had mentioned Thulung as the prospective recipient of the arms, police sources had said. During interrogation, the CID had said the duo had led them to 27th Mile under Runglee-Rungliot police station on December 6, where a rifle, 22 rounds of live ammunition were found in a building.

The police today had requested for a six-day remand of Kami. The court rejected the plea on the grounds that that seizure lists were not forwarded to the court and there was delay in recording the statements of the witnesses in the 27th Mile arms haul case.

The duo will be in judicial custody till January 30, 2015.

Source: Telegraph

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