Politics

Sikkim Blocks West Bengal Police From Arresting GJM Leaders

The West Bengal government has issued lookout notices against GJM leaders Bimal Gurung and his colleague Roshan Giri.

The police watch as the mass rally of Gorkhaland supporters arrive. Credit: Brihat Rai

The police watch as the mass rally of Gorkhaland supporters arrive. Credit: Brihat Rai

New Delhi: Adding to the unrest in the Darjeeling hills, which has been in shutdown for 81 days now, the Sikkim police on Friday prevented the West Bengal police from taking arrested leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and filed a murder charge against the Kalimpong police chief, reported the Telegraph.

The Bengal police arrested GJM members from a meeting that was taking place near Namchi in Sikkim, when the Sikkim police blocked them. Pratap Pradhan, senior superintendent of police in South Sikkim, told the Telegraph, “Some people from Bengal were on the run… They seem to have come to Namchi. Bengal police entered Sikkim and arrested six people but since they failed to produce the proper documents, we didn’t let them take the arrested people.”

GJM chief Bimal Gurung was also allegedly at the meeting but managed to escape.

The Bengal government has issued lookout notices against Gurung and his colleague Roshan Giri.

GJM leader Binay Tamang, who announced the suspension of the indefinite strike from yesterday, was expelled from the party, according to the Telegraph report.

The Namchi district magistrate last evening posted on Facebook that a case under Section 302/34 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered against the Kalimpong superintendent of police and his team. Pradhan had earlier said that a 34-year-old man from Kalimpong, who had been identified as a GJM supporter, had been allegedly shot dead near Namchi. The registered case is related to this killing, sources said.

An officer from the Bengal police said, “We knew that the state police needed to be informed after the arrests and were in the process of doing that… But they intercepted us and prevent us from bringing some of the suspects over.”

The four who have been arrested are currently at the Namchi and Melli police stations, close to the Bengal border and the Bengal police team has been allowed to return.

West Bengal-Sikkim relations have been strained since June 20 Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling extended support to the Gorkhaland movement.