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21 Aug 2017

Hill blasts aimed at waging war against State, terrorizing masses - claim police

The Kalimpong Police Station where the blast occurred Amitava Banerjee, OI, August 21, 2017, Darjeeling: Along with waging war against the State, the objective behind the two Hill blasts was to create terror among the masses as well as to demoralize the security forces, allege the police. 
A suo moto case has been initiated against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung and four other front rung GJM leaders under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act along with other Acts. 
As an unsteady calm settled over Kalimpong, the day after an explosion had rocked the Kalimpong police station the police went about fortifying the police station. Barricades were put up to restrict movement as vigil was stepped up. 
A CID bomb squad team visited the site. Prima facie the explosion was caused by an IED on the lines of a country-made grenade. The blast was of lesser intensity than the IED used in Darjeeling Motor Stand blast. 
An 8 feet long wire and battery has been recovered from the Darjeeling blast site which experts believe was used as the detonator. Traces of nitroglycerin have been found from the Darjeeling blast site pointing to the use of gelatin sticks. 
Gelatin stick is an explosive material consisting of collodion-cotton (a type of nitrocellulose or gun cotton) dissolved in either nitroglycerine or nitroglycol and mixed with wood pulp and saltpetre. 
Police feel that large quantity of gelatin sticks stolen from a NTPC site at Negi under the Poolbazar police station were being used for the Darjeeling blast. On June 22 around 480 gelatin sticks were stolen from an NTPC project at Negi. Pieces of iron rods, metal sheets and ball bearings were used as splinters in the Darjeeling blast. The routine police patrol party was the target of the Darjeeling blast claim the police. 
In the Kalimpong blast splinters which resembled cast iron shell of a hand grenade has been recovered. "We have recovered metal splinters having chequered patterns (a pattern that is similar to hand grenades)" stated Ajit Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong. 
As the explosive was lobbed and not detonated from the ground further boosts the hand grenade claim. Giving a firsthand account of the incident, a police officer stated. 
"At around 10:10pm we were inside the police station while Civic Police Rakesh Rawat, Home Guard Dhendup Bhutia and SSB constable Manoj Dekka were standing on the porch near the main gate. 31 year old Rawat was speaking on his cell phone. Suddenly something came flying and hit the electric overhead wires causing a spark and dropping on the porch. Rawat had gone to see what had dropped when the explosion occurred. Everything was engulfed in acrid smoke". 
It took some time for the police personnel present in the police station to realize that an explosion had occurred. Next moment all three rushed into police station profusely bleeding. They slumped on the floor. 
"While trying to lift Rawat up we realized that he was no more. We then rushed Bhutia and Dekka to the Hospital from where Bhutia was referred to Siliguri. 32 year old Dekka was rushed to the military hospital with splinters having pierced his face." stated the Officer. 
48 year old Bhutia is undergoing treatment at a private nursing home in Siliguri. 
Rawat's deadbody was sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital from the Kalimpong Sadar Hospital for post mortem. "The forensic department will remove splinters from the dead body. The splinters will then be examined" stated SP Ajit Kumar Yadav. 
Yadav stated that as the police station is on a elevated land with a wire mesh fencing all around the grenade fell in the compound and did not travel to the office in which case there would be more casualties. 
There are many theories doing the rounds as to how the explosive was lobbed without the thrower being noticed. Some police officials feel that it could have been lobbed from any of the surrounding buildings. Some state that attackers could have come on motorbikes and lobbed it. Some even state that it could have been lobbed from a dark spot opposite the police station. "We are analyzing CCTV footages. 
We have intelligence inputs that some GJM leaders and supporters have been amassing explosives. The theft of the gelatin strengthens the claims. The agitation is being given a violent twist and they are waging war against the State. The persons involved in the blasts are well trained. 
We are investigating to ascertain if they have links with North East Terrorist outfits or with Maoists" added the SP. 
A case has been started by the police (case number 223/17/Kalimpong PS) against Bimal Gurung, Praveen Subba, Prakash Gurung, Barud Thapa and Dawa Lepcha. They have been charged under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy,) 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India,) 121A, 122 (collecting army with intention of waging war against the Government of India,) 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code read with Sections 3, 4 of Explosive Substances Act; Sections 16, 18, 18A, 18B of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act ; Sections 8, 9, 15A, 15B of West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order and Sections 3,4 of Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act. 
We are also investigating the post arson blast at the Social Forestry guest house in Kalimpong that occurred an hour after the police station blast" added the SP. The guest house located at Warling-golai was torched an hour after the police station blast on Saturday night. Gurung used to frequent this bungalow. 
Intelligence agencies are of the opinion that a hardcore splinter group is behind the blasts. They do not want any middle path settlement to the ongoing Darjeeling impasse through dialogue specially with the State Government. 
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha dubbing the blast as a conspiracy to derail the Gorkhaland movement and an attempt to defame the GJM, have demanded that a high-level enquiry be conducted. They have also demanded that CCTV footages be made public. 
All the police stations in the Hills and contiguous areas of the plains have been put on alert. Surprise checks are being conducted in all entry and exit points the Hills, Siliguri and other areas. 
Meanwhile, in Darjeeling a scuffle broke out between security forces and GJM supporters at around 11:30am at the Chowk Bazar. 36 GJM supporters were rounded up by the police but were later released. 
In another development the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee held a meeting in Kalimpong on Sunday. Kalyan Dewan, Convenor stated "We are willing to sit in talks with the State Government provide there is an official invite. The State also has to create an environment conducive for talks." 
They have also resolved that the indefinite bandh which started on June 15 will continue. 
(Source & Courtesy: http://www.oneindia.com/india/hill-blasts-aimed-at-waging-war-against-state-terrorizing-masses-police-2526168.html)

Hunt on for persons involved in attack on police station

EOI, DARJEELING, 20 Aug 2017: A massive manhunt was today launched to track those behind the grenade blast in Kalimpong police station that left a civic police volunteer dead and two others injured even as the police is suspecting the hand of the GJM behind the attack. 
A hand grenade was hurled at Kalimpong police station last night at around 11 pm, police said. A high intensity blast had also taken place in Darjeeling town in the early hours of yesterday. The hurling of the grenade in the Kalimpong police station and the high intensity blast in Darjeeling town yesterday were the first such incidents since the indefinite shutdown to press for separate Gorkhaland state began over two months ago. 
"We have launched a manhunt for the miscreants. We suspect the hand of the GJM behind this grenade blast. We are checking each and every entry and exit points. A forensic team will visit the police station," a senior police officer said. 
The civic police volunteer was killed on the spot while the two other police personnel were admitted to a nearby hospital with grievous injuries. The situation in Darjeeling remained tensed as the indefinite shutdown in the hills entered its 67th day today. 
As the police conducted area domination march today, none of the political parties conducted any rallies since this morning. Barring medicine shops, all other commercial establishments, schools and colleges remained shut in the Darjeeling hills. 
Earlier, GJM chief Bimal Gurung has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with a grenade blast at the Kalimpong police station and an explosion in Darjeeling town, the police said today.  
Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Gurung and others had been booked under the UAPA in connection with the two blasts. 
"We have also slapped charges under the Explosive Substances Act, the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act, section 302, IPC (punishment for murder) and other sections against Gurung and others," he added. 
Meanwhile, a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) office was set on fire allegedly by Gorkhaland supporters at Kalimpong last night. The situation in Darjeeling remained tensed as the indefinite strike called by the GJM, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, entered its 67th day today. 
The grenade attack on the Kalimpong police station and the blast in Darjeeling town were the first such incidents since the indefinite strike began over two months ago. 
"We are monitoring each and every entry and exit point. A forensic team will visit the police station," a senior police officer said. 
The GJM leadership, however, condemned the attack on the police station. "We condemn the grenade blast at the police station. It is the handiwork of those who do not want Gorkhaland to be formed," a senior leader of the party said.

Struggle for survival after hill strike...... Tea workers risks life in fetching wild mushrooms

Prashant Acharya, EOI, SILIGURI, 20 Aug 2017: The closure of the tea garden and affect after the hill strike this elderly woman take risk of wild animals and recognising poisonous mushrooms to fetch in the nearby jungle of Panighatta under Mirik.
Panighatta tea garden was shut down on October 10, 2015 and now the workers are baddly hit by the ongoing movement in hills for separate state.
Sixty years old Margene Toppo enters Panighatta forest early morning everyday to find nutritious Mushrooms that grows in large numbers during monsoon season.
Despite of risk of attacking wild animals including leopards, elephants and jackals Toppo enters the forest to collect mushroom so that their family members can get food for one time.
She said, “We are in trouble after the closure of the tea garden but the condition became worse due to the ongoing movement in the hills, we are managing food somehow till now but no idea about future if it continuous for more days.”
She says several other workers also go to the nearby jungle to find wild food and fishes from the streams.
For the survival these tribal woman sometimes fall in trouble in wrong recognising poisonous mushrooms which can only be recognised by experts.
Local resident Deepak Sharma said, “There are various species of mushroom which are edible and non edible. If by mistake it is consumed people can lose their precious life.
According to experts many species are safe to eat, and some are delicious. But there are some others that can make you extremely ill, and a few are lethal. The standard taste test for identifying toxic plants doesn’t work on fungi either because they’re not actually plants they’re a separate class of living thing, neither plant nor animal. The only way to tell if a fungus is a safe mushroom or a poisonous toadstool is to identify its species by looking at it. Get it wrong and you can have a real problem – there’s no treatment or antidote for some toxic fungi.

Hill panel echoes Morcha on probe

TT, Aug. 20: The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee today sought a probe into the Darjeeling blast and the Kalimpong attack by the National Investigation Agency and a "conducive atmosphere" for talks, echoing the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in a fresh hint that the panel was just toeing the line of the predominant hill party.
"We condemn the blasts in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. We believe it is a conspiracy to upset the ongoing democratic movement and demean the Gorkha population," a representative of the GMCC said after a three-and-a-half-hour meeting of the committee on the outskirts of Kalimpong town.
After Friday's blast and the police station attack the day after, Morcha leaders had spoken in a similar tone.
"We will also write to the Centre and the state government, requesting an NIA probe into the incidents. The truth should be revealed," the GMCC representative said, echoing what the Morcha had said yesterday.
The GMCC member also said the committee had requested the governments to create a "conducive atmosphere" in the hills for talks.
Political analysts said it had become clear that the GMCC couldn't take any decision that threatened to displease the Morcha.
"Leaders of some hill political parties have articulated their discontent against the unilateral moves by the Morcha. But not a single decision that can aggrieve the Morcha or its leaders has been taken by the GMCC even though it claims to be a common platform of as many as 14 organisations," an observer said.
After today's decision, the observer said, the Morcha's clout over the GMCC had been established. "It is beyond doubt that the Morcha and not the GMCC that has still the final say," he added.

Gurung booked for Kalimpong attack

The Kalimpong police station
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Aug. 20: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung and other leaders of his party were today booked in connection with the attack on Kalimpong police station last night, in which a civic volunteer was killed.
"A case has been started against Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung (Yuva Morcha president), Praveen Subba (a close aide of Bimal Gurung), Barud Thapa (the Yuva Morcha's Kalimpong unit president), Dawa Lepcha ( a former GTA executive sabha member) and others under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and provisions of the Explosives Substances Act and West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act," additional director-general of police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said today.
Police sources said at least two suspected Morcha supporters had come on a motorcycle and thrown a "country-made explosive device" at the police station around 10.10pm yesterday.
Rakesh Raut, a 31-year-old civic volunteer, died in the attack. Home guard Dhendup Bhutia and Manoj Deka, a jawan of the Sasashtra Seema Bal, suffered splinter injuries.
On Friday night, a bomb had gone off barely 200 metres from Darjeeling Sadar police station. Today, Kalimpong police chief Ajit Singh Yadav said the blast and the attack on the police station vindicated intelligence reports that Morcha supporters had been stockpiling explosives.
"Intelligence reports had indicated that some Morcha supporters were storing explosives. They had also looted explosives (gelatine sticks) from Pullbazar in Darjeeling on July 21.... The Morcha leaders are indulging in explosions and violence. They are carrying out such activities to terrorise the security forces," Yadav said.
According to Yadav, there were apprehensions that the persons responsible for the blast and the police station attack could have links with terrorist organisations in the Northeast. "Definitely, they seem to have good training...."
The Morcha denied role in any of the two incidents.
"We protest efforts by the administration to put the blame for the blast on the Morcha. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha categorically denies any link with the blast and the attack," said R.B. Bhujel, the president of the Morcha's Kalimpong unit.
Bhujel said he had written to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, seeking a proper probe into the incidents.

Police swoop on Gorkhaland meeting venue - Speakers leave midway, rally stalled

The detained Gorkhaland supporters in Darjeeling on Sunday
TT, Calcutta, Aug. 20: A police team today marched to the venue of a public meeting by Gorkhaland supporters in the heart of Darjeeling town and detained over 30 people, the first such action by the force since the agitation began two months ago.
The police action not only forced the statehood supporters to disperse, it also brought the meeting to an abrupt halt, with the speakers whisked away by many in the crowd to escape arrest.
Police sources said they had raided the venue at Chowk Bazaar to arrest Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders and workers who had been named in FIRs during the course of the two-month-long agitation.
Pointing out that the police had for the first time stopped a public meeting organised by Gorkhaland supporters, political analysts said the action assumed significance against the backdrop of the softened stance of the Morcha and other hill parties who had made the talks offer to the state government.
The police have been patrolling the areas considered to be Morcha strongholds over the past few weeks. The intensified security measure have also prompted Morcha chief Bimal Gurung to say that he has been living in a "jungle". Today, the police booked Gurung for the attack on Kalimpong police station last night.
Since June 16, a day after the Morcha gave the clarion call for an indefinite strike, rallies are being held every day not just in Darjeeling but across the hills. But the turnouts at these rallies have come down considerably over the past few days, sources said.
In Darjeeling, the rally by Gorkhaland supporters starts near the railway station and moves through Laden La Road, Robertson Road and Dr Yen Sang Road to reach Chowk Bazaar, where a public meeting is organised daily.
Only yesterday did the rally take a circuitous route in the wake of the fluid situation in the hills after Friday night's blast.
The rally took the usual route today and was being addressed by Morcha and CPRM leaders at Chowk Bazaar when the police raided the venue.
The speakers included Tilak Chand Roka, a central committee leader of the Morcha, whose name figures in various FIRs.
"Roka was on the Sumeru Manch and there were many people on the staircase leading to the podium. By the time the police reached Roka, his supporters had whisked him away even though he was only half way through his speech," said a source.
The police detained 36 Gorkhaland supporters from the meeting venue. Some Morcha leaders alleged that the police had resorted to lathi-charge.
Those detained were released later in the day.
Morcha leaders suggested that the police disruption of the meeting could affect the situation in the hills that had been relatively peaceful before the blast a couple of days ago and the attack on the Kalimpong police station last night.
Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary of the Morcha, said: "It's not just the duty of political parties but also of the police and the government to maintain peace. They should avoid unnecessary provocations."
The police denied resorting to lathi-charge. A source said the force raided the area after getting the information that many people named in FIRs were present at the meeting.
"No arrests were made," said a police officer.
In a related development, a poster pasted in Chowk Bazaar in the name of "public" criticised the Morcha and the other hill parties for "trying to settle for an alternative arrangement to Gorkhaland" despite "the sacrifice of common people".
The poster also urged the hill people not to support "this unfruitful" indefinite strike.
The strike entered its 66th day today.

GNLF requests state govt to start talks

GNLF general secretary Mahendra Chhetri in Siliguri on Sunday. 
Picture by Passang Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 20: The GNLF today appealed to the state government to initiate talks with the Gorkhaland agitators to end the current impasse in the hills, but minister Gautam Deb once again ruled out the possibility of the dialogue till the ongoing movement was lifted.
The request has come from the GNLF general secretary, Mahendra Chhetri, a few days after Kalyan Dewan, the coordinator of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee, said the panel was willing to hold a dialogue with the state government if a formal invitation was extended.
"The Union home minister, Rajnath Singh, had advised a GMCC delegation on August 13 to hold bipartite talks with the state government so that crisis in the hills could be resolved. We urge the state government to open a dialogue so that the indefinite shutdown that has been affecting normal life in the hills for the past 65 days could end," Chhetri told a news conference here.
"If the government sends us a letter inviting us to the talks, we will immediately take up the matter with the GMCC. Later, we can even send a reply to the state government. All we want is that somebody should come forward and break the ice," Chhetri said.
Minister Deb iterated that unless the hill parties withdrew the strike and refrained from violent activities, there was no question of holding talks with them.
"We took an initiative to hold an all-party meeting on June 22. But the hill parties rejected the invitation. Our conditions are very clear. They will have to withdraw the strike and refrain from violence. Only then can talks take place," Deb said after visiting a home guard who was injured in the attack on Kalimpong police station at a private nursing home in Sevoke Road here.
Till a few days back, the hill parties had been categorically saying they would hold parleys only with the Central government on the single point agenda of Gorkhaland.
Asked about the explosions in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Chhetri said a high level inquiry committee should be formed to find out who were involved in the attacks.
"Whenever statehood movement took place in the hills, our leader Subash Ghishingh used to say many international agencies were trying to take advantage of the situation. We want a high level inquiry to find out who all are trying to derail our peaceful movement," the GNLF leader said.

कालेबुङ थानामा बिस्फोट : सिभिक पुलिसको मृत्यु.... षडयन्त्र रच्नेहरूमा गोजमुमोका शिर्षस्थ नेताहरू छन् – पुलिस अधिक्षक

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 20 अगस्त। "गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाका नेताहरूले हिंसा अनि बिस्फोटका घट्नाहरूलाई अञ्जाम दिइरहेका छन्। यस्तो आतङ्की हमला गरेर उनीहरू सुरक्षा बलहरूलाई डर देखाउँन चाहन्छन् अनि राज्य विरुद्ध लडाईँ गर्दैछन्। हामीले घट्नाको जाँच गरिरहेका छौँ। वरिपरी रहेका सम्पूर्ण सीसीटिभी फुटेजहरू पनि जाँच गर्दैछौँ। यस घट्नामा षडयन्त्र रच्नेहरूमा गोजमुमोका शिर्षस्थ नेताहरू छन्" कालेबुङ जिल्ला पुलिस अधिक्षक अजित सिंह यादवले पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै भने।
गत 19 अगस्त् राती कालेबुङ पुलिस थानाको मूल गेटमा भएको बम बिस्फोटको घट्नापछि आज जिल्ला पुलिस अधिक्षक अजित सिंह यादवले पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गरेका थिए। उनले पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्नेक्रममा घट्नाबारे बिस्तृत जानकारी गराएका छन्। यसक्रममा उनले उक्त विस्फोटको घट्नामा गोजमुमो पार्टीका शिर्षस्थ नेताहरूले षडयन्त्र रचेको सोझै आरोप समेत लगाएका छन्। उक्त बिस्फोटको घट्नामा पुलिसले गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अध्यक्ष बिमल गुरुङ, युवा मोर्चा अध्यक्ष प्रकाश गुरुङ, प्रविण सुब्बा, पूर्व सभासद दावा लेप्चा, बारुद थापा लगायत अन्य विरुद्ध मुद्दा समेत दर्ता गरेको छ।
शनिबार राती लगभग 10 बजे कालेबुङ पुलिस थानाको मूल गेटमा भएको बम बिस्फोटमा एकजना सिभिक पुलिस राकेश रावत (31) को मृत्यु भएको छ। दार्जीलिङ शहरमा बम बिस्फोट भएको 24 घण्टा बित्न नपाई कालेबुङ पुलिस थानामा भएको बिस्फोटको घट्नाले सनसनी मच्चिएको छ। उक्त बिस्फोटको चपेटमा परेर होम गार्ड ढेण्डुप भोटिया (48) अनि एसएसबीका जवान मनोज डेक्का (32) घाइते भएका छन्।
"राती लगभग 10 बजे कालेबुङ थानामा कसैले एक बम अर्थात कुनै बिस्फोट पदार्थ थानाभित्र फ्याँक्ने कार्य गरे। थाना केहि अग्लोमा भएको कारण बाहिरबाट फ्याकिएको उक्त बिस्फोटक बिजुलीको तारमा ठोक्किएर तल झर्यो् अनि जोडले बिस्फोट भयो। त्यस समय त्यहाँ एकजना होमगार्ड, एसएसबीका जवान अनि एकजना भोलेन्टियर सिभिक पुलिस तैनाथ थिए। बिस्फोटको कारण तीनैजना घाइते बनेका थिए। उनीहरू तीनैजनालाई तत्कालै कालेबुङ अस्पतालमा उपचारको निम्ति पुर्या्उँदा सिभिक पुलिस राकेस रावतलाई चिकित्सकले मृत घोषित गरे" पुलिस अधिक्षक अजित सिंह यादवले भने।
बिस्फोटको चपेटमा परेर घाइते बनेका होम गार्ड ढेण्डुप भोटियाको हातमा चोट लागेको जानकारी दिँदै उनलाई तत्कालै सिलगडीको एउटा निजी नर्सिङ होममा उपचारको निम्ति लगिएको पनि उनले बताएका छन्। यसका साथै अर्का घाइते एसएसबी जवान मनोज डेक्कालाई मिलिटेरी अस्पतालमा भर्ना गरेर प्राथमिक उपचार पछि छुट्टि दिइएको जानकारी दिएका छन्।
यता बिस्फोटको चपेटमा परेर मृत्यु भएका सिभिक पुलिस राकेश रावतको शवलाई आज पुलिसको विशेष निगरानीमा उत्तर बङ्गाल मेडिकेल कलेज एवम् अस्पतालमा पोष्टमार्टमको निम्ति पठाइएको छ।
राती भएको बिस्फोटको घट्नापछि आज कालेबुङ शहर बिहानैदेखि तनावपूर्ण बनेको थियो। बिस्फोटको घट्नापछि पुलिसले थानाडाँडा नजिक मेन रोडमा ब्यारिकेड् लगाएको छ। अचानक रातीको समयमा भएको बिस्फोटले कालेबुङ थानाको मूल गेट्को खम्बा धेरै प्रभावित बनेको छ भने वरीपरिका भित्ताहरूमा जोडले लागेको दागहरू स्पष्ट बनेको छ। यसका साथै थानाडाँडा अघिल्लतिर रहेको किङ थाई रेन्टुरेन्ट लगायत अन्य नजिकका केहि दोकानहरूमा समेत बमको टुक्रा छर्राले लागेर ऐनाहरू फुटेको छ।
‘पछिल्लो अडाई महिनादेखि जुन आन्दोलन चलिरहेको छ त्यस आन्दोलनको क्रममा धेरैजनाले आफ्नो भाषणमा पुलिस माथी हमला गर्छौँ भनेका थिए। यस्तो अवस्थामा जीजेएमएमको केहि समर्थकहरूले बिस्फोटकहरू जमा गर्दैछन् भन्ने हामीलाई खुफिया विभागको रिपोर्ट रहेको थियो। यसक्रममा पुलबजारमा धेरै मात्रमा बिस्फोटकहरू चोरि भएको घट्ना प्रकासमा आएको थियो। जुन घट्नालाई लिएर पुलबजारमा 21 जुलाईको दिन प्राथमिकी दर्ता समेत गरिएको छ। त्यसपछि दार्जीलिङमा एउटा बिस्फोट भएको थियो। यस घट्नाहरूले खुफिया बिभागको रिपोर्ट सही रहेको प्रमाणित भएको छ’ पुलिस अधिक्षक यादवले अझ भने।
उनले उक्त बिस्फोटको घट्ना सम्बन्धमा एफआईआर दर्ता गरेको जानकारी दिँदै 223/17 केस नम्बर रहेको समेत जानकारी दिएका छन्। उनले पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्नेक्रममा बिस्फोट हुँदाको बिस्फोटक धेरै शक्तिशाली रहेको पनि दाबी गरेका छन्।
‘जसले पनि यस घट्नालाई अञ्जाम दिएको थियो उनीहरूसँग राम्रो प्रशिक्षण थियो। उनीहरूको उत्तरपूर्वीय क्षेत्र लगायत अन्य क्षेत्रका पेशेवार आतङ्कीहरूसँग सम्बन्ध छैन भन्न सकिन्दैन’ अजित सिंह यादवले अझ भने। उनले घट्नाको जाँच गर्न सीआईडी दलसँगै बम निरोधक दस्ता समेत कालेबुङ आउने जानकारी दिएका छन्। सोहिक्रममा जिल्ला पुलिस अधिक्षक अजित सिंह यादवले आरोपीहरू विरुद्ध हत्या, हत्याको प्रयास, देशद्रोह, बिस्फोटक पदार्थको प्रयोग लगायत अन्य कानुनी मुद्दाहरू अन्तर्गत मुद्दा दर्ता गरेको जानकारी दिएका छन्।
अर्कोतर्फ यता कालेबुङमा भएको बिस्फोटको घट्नालाई लिर गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा कालेबुङ जिल्ला अध्यक्ष डा. आर. बी भुजेलले गृहमन्त्री राजनाथ सिंहलाई पत्राचार गरेर उच्च स्तरीय जाँचको माग गरेका छन्। गृहमन्त्री राजनाथ सिंहलाई उच्चस्तरीय जाँचको माग गर्दै लेखेको पत्र आज कालेबुङकी बिधायक श्रीमती सरिता राई लगायत अन्य मोर्चाका नेताहरूले कालेबुङ थाना प्रभारी मार्फत पठाउने कार्य गरेका छन्। उक्त ज्ञापन पत्र सुम्पेपछि पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै श्रीमती सरिता राईले बम बिस्फोटका घट्नाको जोडदार विरोध गर्दै दोषीहरूलाई प्रशासनले पक्राऊ गर्नुपर्ने माग गरिन्। ‘बम बिस्फोटको घट्नाको हामी घोर बिरोध गर्दछौँ। उक्त घट्नाको उच्च स्तरीय जाँचको माग गोजमुमो पार्टीले गर्दछ। हामी गृहमन्त्री राजनाथ सिंहलाई यस्ता बिस्फोटका घट्नाको सत्यता पत्तो लगाउँन उच्च स्तरीय जाँचको माग गर्दछौँ’ बिधायक सरिता राईले भनिन्।
यता दार्जीलिङ अनि कालेबुङ थानामा भएको बिस्फोटको घट्नालाई जन आन्दोलन पार्टीका अध्यक्ष डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले पनि जोडदार निन्दा गरेका छन्। उनले यस्ता घट्नाहरूले अहिलेघरी चलिरहेको छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनलाई बाधा पुग्ने पनि बताएका छन्। ‘बिस्फोटको जुन घट्ना भयो त्यो निन्दनीय छ। उक्त बिस्फोटको घट्नामा कसको हात छ भन्ने पत्तो लगाउन केन्द्र सरकारले गम्भीरतापूर्वक जाँच गर्नुपर्छ अनि जिम्मेवार व्यक्तिलाई खोजी निकाल्नुपर्छ अनि वास्तविकता जनताले थाह पाउँनुपर्छ’ डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले माग गरे।

Hills at a loss after blasts

A home guard injured in Saturday's grenade attack. Picture by Passang Yolmo
TT, Calcutta, Aug. 20: The back-to-back blasts in Darjeeling and Kalimpong have left a confused hill population asking: "What does Bimal Gurung want?"
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president, booked under terror laws with his lieutenants over the explosions, has denied involvement. But the widespread perception in Darjeeling is that the blasts could not have happened without the knowledge, if not the blessings, of the hills' most powerful politician.
The blasts have come at a time the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee, the agitation spearhead, has aired readiness for talks with the state government. The declaration had raised a harried hill population's hopes of an end to the two-month-old general strike before the Puja tourist season.
"I'm confused; I don't know what the Morcha wants," a prominent businessman of the hills said today. Most people understand that the Coordination Committee --- a grouping of 14 political and apolitical outfits --- is a façade and that the Morcha is the main force.
The Morcha had received tremendous support when it was formed in 2007, primarily because of its commitment to a "democratic agitation".
Multiple acts of intolerance towards opponents followed, the Morcha preventing the body of Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Subash Ghisingh's wife from entering the hills, and chasing leaders of other parties out. But the support did not ebb as the statehood agitation remained largely democratic and peaceful between 2007 and 2012.
Last night, a grenade attack on a Kalimpong police station killed a civic police volunteer and injured two policemen, after a blast in the heart of Darjeeling town on Friday midnight pockmarked shop shutters and shattered windowpanes.
Some Gurung supporters have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. "Maybe a hard-line fringe group, which is not under Gurung's control, is trying to sabotage any talks with the government," an observer said.
But few in the hills find it plausible that a fringe group can carry out such attacks without the Morcha's knowledge.
As senior hill politicians speculated about the roots of the violence, some of them pointed to the "contradictory statements" Gurung had issued over the past few weeks.
"He has come out with outlandish remarks like 'the land is seeking blood'; he has said the 11 deaths till now are 'only a trailer and the picture is yet to be completed'," a member of the Coordination Committee said.
"After making such statements, he would say in the same breath that the movement would remain democratic. The question people are asking is, 'What's going on in Bimal's mind?'"
Several hill politicians said that Gurung's statements had more impact on the agitators than those of any other leader.
Questions were also being asked today about the activities of people like Sanjay Thulung, a Yuva Morcha leader and former member of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha.
Thulung has been on the run since his name cropped up in connection with the seizure of a huge cache of arms, apparently bound for the Darjeeling hills, in Assam in November 2014. The haul included an M16 rifle, two Beretta pistols, three .30-bore pistols, and ammunition.
Police had then claimed that Thulung had paid Rs 13.3 lakh to the National Socialist Council of Nagalim to train 15 members of the Morcha youth brigade, the Gorkhaland Personnel.
"The Assam incident cannot be ignored in the context of the present hill situation," a senior police officer said. "Would Thulung have done it without the knowledge of his party boss?"
A hill politician said: "The allegations of bringing in arms, the blasts in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, the continuous torching of government properties including those of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and Gurung's statements have created confusion."
No senior Morcha member was willing to comment on the subject but some of them insisted that the majority within the party wanted a peaceful agitation.
"But since the party also has hardliners, the question is which group is persuading him (Gurung) to issue such statements," an observer said.

20 Aug 2017

Cops smell 'outside help' in Kalimpong explosion

MP, 20 August 2017, Kolkata: An insurgency group from a neighbouring country is suspected to have worked hand-in-gloves with agitators in the Hills to carry out the blasts at Kalimpong that claimed one life leaving three others injured, preliminary investigation revealed. 

Sources in the state police said that hand-made grenades, which were of high intensity, had exploded. Moreover, the explosives were fitted with timers. 

According to a police officer, such explosives were used earlier as well but those were not of such high density as some pieces of explosives were found at a distance of 40 metre from the spot where the explosion had taken place.

The police feel that carrying out such an operation and using such high intensity explosives is not possible without proper training. It is learnt that the investigating officers are suspecting that the insurgency group had trained some youth to carry out such "operations" and the same youth were involved in the blast those took place in Kalimpong.

It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also said that the agitators were getting support from outside the country to continue with the unrest in the Hills. 

Again, a report of a state intelligence agency after a month of agitation in the Hills since June 8 had also stated that Maoists from a neighbouring country were supporting the agitators in Darjeeling to create violence in the Hills. It was also stated in the report that the support has been extended to aggravate the situation in the Hills and there were also plans to attack some senior officers. 

Police suspect that Saturday night's attack could be a part of the same plan about which the state intelligence agency had mentioned in its report in mid-July. There were two blasts in Kalimpong at a gap of an hour on Saturday night and police are quite confirm that it is not possible to carry out such an operation without chalking out a proper plan. But the plan that was fetched didn't work well or else it could have led to more damages. 

Explosions in Kalimpong on Saturday night have once again brought to light the alleged connection between the agitators and insurgency groups from "outside the country".

Source & Courtesy: http://www.millenniumpost.in/kolkata/cops-smell-outside-help-in-kalimpong-explosion-258349

Mamata toughens stance against Gorkha leaders as strike takes toll on Darjeeling

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri , HT, 20 August 2017,  Kolkata: The Bengal government has hardened its stance against the Gorkhaland campaign, announcing that it will agree to parleys only if the outfits spearheading the demand for a separate Gorkha state call off their strike and hand over leaders booked by police.

Most of Darjeeling hills has been shut down for weeks now, taking a toll on the local economy based on tourism that peaks around this time of the year, after members from Gorkha outfits launched a major campaign to press for a separate state.

A minister in the Mamata Banerjee-led state government, wishing not to be identified, said the government will now wait for the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) — the umbrella outfit spearheading the movement — to initiate peace talks.

“The ball is in the court of GMCC or GJM (Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) now. The crowds in their gatherings are getting smaller every day. The general people in the hills are fuming due to loss of business. So let GMCC or GJM decide whether they want peace in the hills and come for discussion with the state government or carry on with their agitation and get disassociated from people further,” the member of the state cabinet said.

The tougher stance coincides with an ostensible lack in interest from the Union government and the BJP — a rival to Banerjee’s Trinamool — to meddle in the matter.

GJM is the most prominent outfit among the GMCC groups, and the state police has booked its president Bimal Gurung and two other Morcha leaders, Praveen Subba and Prakash Gurung under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with a blast at Chow Bazar at the heart of Darjeeling. GJM, however, has denied its involvement and demanded an investigation by National Investigation Agency (NIA).

According to Trinamool’s Darjeeling district president and state tourism minister Gautam Deb, the GJM is now making “hollow challenges and no one is taking such challenges seriously”.

GJM assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang had on Friday said the GMCC leadership will on dialogue only if the state government gives a formal letter inviting for talks. He also said no preconditions by the state government will be accepted.

Bengal hills police stations on high alert after blasts in Darjeeling, Kalimpong

IANS, 20 August 2017, Kolkata:  All police stations in the northern West Bengal hills have been put on “high alert” and counter-insurgency strategies are being followed after two major blasts in the past 24 hours in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, police said on Sunday.

“All police stations have been put on high alert. The strategy that is followed by security forces in the insurgency affected areas is being followed here,” Kalimpong superintendent of police Ajit Singh Yadav said. “New types of weapons have been issued for the police,” he said.

Civic volunteer Rakesh Raut died while a home guard and a Seema Sashatra Bal (SSB) trooper were injured in a blast outside Kalimpong police station on Saturday night.

The explosion came less than 24 hours after a blast in the heart of the hill town of Darjeeling that damaged a few shops, triggering tension.

“A high intensity explosive was used in Kalimpong,” the official said.

Both the blasts took place on the 69th day of the indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which wants a separate Gorkhaland to be carved out of the north Bengal hills.

Police said the blast in Darjeeling was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device and the impact was felt in a wide area.

A FIR was registered against three Morcha leaders, including GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

The GJM leadership denied the allegations and claimed the blast was a handiwork of those who do not want Gorkhaland.

Gurung has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding a high level inquiry comprising National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

Trains on tracks in 8 days

TT, Aug. 19: At least eight more days will be needed to restore full train connectivity to flood-hit north Bengal and Guwahati if there is no further heavy rainfall, officials of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said today.

Water has started receding from the submerged areas of North and South Dinajpur. River water has started receding in Assam too as rain in both north Bengal and the Northeast has decreased.

Train services to north Bengal and the Northeast have been suspended for the past six days because of floods and resultant track damage between Barsoi in Bihar and Dalkhola in North Dinajpur, a chicken's neck corridor where the tracks zigzag through bordering areas of Bengal and Bihar.

Moderate rainfall is forecast in the next two-three days in north Bengal and the amount is not expected to worsen the flood situation.

A senior NFR official said: "Restoration work is being done on a war footing. Engineers feel full connectivity cannot be restored before August 28."

Seventy-seven trains, including the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi and the Darjeeling Mail, that travel to and from north Bengal and the Northeast have not been operating for the past six days.

"From today, a special train will run between Howrah and Raiganj (in North Dinajpur). This service will continue for the next two-three days," another NFR official said.

"A direct train service was also introduced between Dalkhola and Dibrugarh today. Special trains are running between Dalkhola and Guwahati," an NFR source said.

Bihar's Kishanganj station has been made available for loading of essential commodities and other goods bound for north Bengal and the Northeast. "Traders can bring their items by road to Kishanganj station, where the goods can be loaded onto rakes," the NFR source said.

The source said those travelling to Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar from Calcutta and other places in south Bengal can take a train till Malda or Raiganj and from there proceed in a bus.

Water has receded from most stretches of National Highway 34, which connects Calcutta airport to Dalkhola and is the main highway to north Bengal.

NDRF personnel, aided by volunteers from NGOs, are carrying out rescue and relief operations in the two Dinajpurs, the districts worst affected by the floods.

Many stranded people, however, complained of inadequate and erratic distribution of relief materials.

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