Late-night bomb blast at Darjeeling; case against Bimal Gurung, two others
Darjeeling: A high intensity blast occurred at the Darjeeling Motor Stand at around 12:10am on Saturday. Police have initiated a case against three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders including Bimal Gurung. There was no loss of life or injury reported in the blast.
"We heard a very loud sound and the whole building shook, glass windows shattered. We were scared," stated Shanti Tamang, a resident of the Old Super Market . The blast had taken place in front of the Super Market.
A police team rushed to the spot. "We are investigating the case. Prima facie it was an IED blast. We have technical inputs along with other inputs in this case. We suspect the hands of GJM leaders Bimal Gurung, Praveen Subba and Prakash Gurung. Nearly a month ago, explosives were stolen from a NHPC site at Poolbazar, Bijanbari" stated Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling hinting at the stolen explosives being used in the Darjeeling blast.
A case has been started against Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung and Praveen Subba at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station. They have been charged under Sections of the Indian Penal Code, ES Act, UAPA Act and PDPP Act.
A bomb squad team of the CID from Siliguri arrived at the site and recreated the scene. Police sources claim that gelatin sticks were used along with splinters that made holes in the shutters of around 20 odd shops. All the glass windows were shattered around the blast site.
The site was cordoned off by the police. "If the blast would have occurred during the day many persons would have lost their lives. Police are investigating the case" stated Minister Gautam Deb.
Meanwhile Bimal Gurung has refuted allegations of his involvement in the blast. "The blast we believe is the handiwork of those who do not want Gorkhaland. A high level probe by the NIA should be conducted under the Supervision of the Supreme Court and the facts be made public" demanded Gurung through a press release.
Meanwhile a forest beat office along with staff quarters were torched at Badamtam along with a GJM party office in Lebong.
Soumitra Nandi adds from Kolkata: Following the IED blast at Darjeeling, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayestha chaired a high level meeting with top officials of the state Criminal Investigation Department and state Intelligence Branch at the secretariat Nabanna on Saturday afternoon. ADG CID Rajesh Kumar, ADG (law & order) Anuj Sharma were present in the meeting. Sources said that the police has been directed to look into the fact whether the explosives were similar in nature to that of Guwahati where explosives were found few days back.