Darjeeling, Aug 22: Two top GJM leaders, including an executive member of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), were arrested here on Thursday in connection with old cases of arson pending against them, the police said.
Benoy Tamang, assistant secretary of GJM and an executive member in-charge of Information and Culture Department of GTA, was arrested early this morning from Rambi near Sikkim-West Bengal border at Kalimpong sub-division. He was arrested during a police raid in the area, sources said, adding that he was held for cases related to arson.
Acting on a tip-off, another GTA member and leader of GJM, Satish Pokhrel, was arrested from a different location in Kalimpong, sources said. He was also arrested for old police cases pending against him, the police said. With the arrest of Tamang and Pokhrel, 13 GTA members have been arrested so far since the indefinite bandh demanding separate Gorkhaland began in Darjeeling hills.
Two other members of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) were also arrested early today from Kalimpong. A total of 685 leaders and members of GJM and bandh supporters were arrested in Darjeeling hills since July 29, the police said. Meanwhile, normal life continues to be affected in Darjeeling hills with shops, business establishments, offices, schools and educational institutions remaining closed.
As part of their two-day 'Rasta Janta' (people on the roads) programme, a huge number of GJM supporters have begun to gather on the main roads of the town and chant slogans in demand for Gorkhaland.
The ongoing rain and storm which uprooted trees and damaged small houses in Darjeeling town has stopped. The roads are still being cleared of the uprooted trees, administrative officials said.