Huge cache of arms, ammo recovered ahead of Mamata's visit to Hills
Darjeeling: A day before the arrival of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend an industrial meet, police recovered arms and ammunition from the outskirts of Darjeeling. The information was received on interrogating the driver of GJM leader Bimal Gurung. The police further alleged that they have information on funds received by Gurung from the government of Sikkim.
Based on interrogation of one Siddhant Kami alias Maila, Gurung's driver who at present has been remanded to police custody by the ACJM Court, Siliguri, police raided Limbu Busty, an erstwhile stronghold of Gurung, on the outskirts of Darjeeling town.
"We have recovered 2 country-made guns, a double-barrel gun, 22 swords and 15 rounds of live 12 bore ammunition, along with 50m of camouflage cloth," stated Amarnath K, Superintendent of Police (Operations), Darjeeling.
Talking to media persons at Darjeeling Sadar police station, the SP alleged that the information received from the persons who have been arrested in the recent past, is a clear pointer to Gurung's intention of waging a full-fledged war against the state and of Sikkim's funding to Gurung.
In the last week of February, police had arrested one Bhaskar Mukhia. Mukhia used to run a flower nursery in Pokhriabong and was close to Gurung. He had been made the chairman of a relief committee by Gurung.
"Mukhia, during interrogation, divulged that the government of Sikkim had sent Rs 1.5 crore to Gurung, in two consignments. One consignment of Rs 1 crore had been received by PT Ola and the other Rs 50 lakh had been received by Mukhia himself," stated Amarnath.
Incidentally, PT Ola, a GJM Central Committee leader, is in judicial custody at present.
During interrogation, Maila revealed that Gurung had been amassing arms and ammunition since May 2016. "Gurung was being helped by Praveen Subba of Patleybash, Deepen Limbu of Teesta Valley and others. They were running a Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) training camp and an improvised arms manufacturing unit in the hostel premises of Kanchenjunga School near Patleybash," stated the SP.
One Suk Thsering Lepcha of Gok, who had the knowhow of manufacturing improvised arms, had been abducted by Gurung's men and was made to manufacture arms in the school premises, alleged the police.
"On October 13, 2016, in the operation where we had lost SI Amitava Malik, we managed to recover a huge cache of automatic arms and ammunition. But Gurung, before going underground, had distributed lots of arms and ammunitions among his followers. We are still on the trail of the arms and ammunitions," stated the SP.
In the last week of June, a huge consignment was seized from Delhi, which was to be delivered to Gurung, stated police. 325 kg of gelatin sticks were also stolen from the NTPC in Negi.
"Maila also divulged that the gelatin was distributed by Gurung from the Kanchenjunga School. 120 GLP, mainly from Dooars, were being trained in the camp by three or four ex-servicemen, namely Gandhi Gurung of Sonada and Sanjay Gurung of Teesta Valley," stated the SP.
Firing practice used to take place at a firing range in Jamuney, from where police have recovered empty ammunition cases, Amarnath said.
"All this is a pointer that Gurung was giving shape to full-fledged insurgency and was waging war against the state," declared Amarnath.