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Another blast rocks Kalimpong, one dead, 3 police personnel grievously injured

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Darjeeling, August 19: A second blast occurred in front of the Kalimpong police station on Saturday night. Along with the three policemen grievously injured, a Civic Police

personnel died in the blast.

Blast site

"At around 10.30pm a hand grenade sort of an explosive was lobbed at the police station. 3 police personnel have been grievously injured. They have been referred to Siliguri" stated Ajit Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong.

Darjeeling police have initiated a suo moto case against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Chief Bimal Gurung along with others in the Darjeeling blast case. A high intensity blast occurred at the Darjeeling Motor Stand in Darjeeling at around 12:10 am on Saturday.

Bimal Gurung has shot a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh requesting him to constitute a high-level inquiry committee with the NIA investigating the matter monitored by the Supreme Court.

Many Darjeeling residents claimed that they heard a second blast in the evening at around 6:30pm on Saturday from below Lebong in the jungles of Harsing. They claimed that the sound was not as loud as the first explosion.

"We do not have any such information of another blast in Lebong" stated Akhilesh Chaturvedi, SP, Darjeeling.

"We heard a very loud sound and the whole building shook, glass windows shattered. I was sleeping in a bunk in my shop along with my wife and daughter. My daughter started to cry. We were all so scared. I am worried about my family." stated Abhisekh Lama, a resident of the Old Super Market.

The blast had taken place in front of the Super Market. A crater was formed on the road at the site of the blast. Such was the intensity of the blast that glass window panes of nearby building were shattered. The splinters (cut outs from iron sheets and rods) from the explosive made holes in the shutters of shops. The splinters had shot across distances of 30 to 40 meters. 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 NTPC site at Negi under the Poolbazar police station. We believe that the routine police patrol party was the target of the explosion" stated Akhilesh Chaturvedi,

Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling hinting at the stolen explosives being used in the Darjeeling blast.

On June 22 around 480 gelatin sticks were stolen on from an NTPC project at Negi. The Sadar Police Station is near to the blast site. The police recreated the scene at the blast site cordoning off the area. A bomb squad team of the CID from Siliguri arrived at the site

late in afternoon on Saturday. It was led by Special Superintendent Ajay Prasad. An army team also inspected the site.

A case has been started against GJM leaders Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung , Praveen Subba and others at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station. 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) 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 WBMPO and Sections 3,4 of Prevcention of Destruction of Public Property Act.

"If the blast would have occurred during the day many persons would have lost their lives. Police are investigating the case. Shunning violence the agitators should come to the table" stated Minister Gautam Deb.

Meanwhile Bimal Gurung has refuted allegations of his involvement in the blast. Gurung in a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has written "How is it possible that an FIR be filed this early, in such a serious matter, while the investigations have not yet begun? In filing the FIR this early, without proper investigations, the Bengal Government has revealed their own hidden agenda of entrapping the GJM leadership on another series of trumped up charges."

The letter complained that the West Bengal Government has been constantly conspiring to give an anti-national color to the movement. Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declared that the GJM is hand in glove with North East militants. Later the Government even attempted to link the GJM with Nepal Maoists. Despite asking the West

Bengal Government to provide proof in support of these allegations, they have failed to provide.

"We, therefore, suspect that the blast in the handiwork of the Bengal government to bring disrepute to the Gorkhaland cause and our leaders and to portray our movement as anti national" stated the letter.

Meanwhile, a forest beat office along with staff quarters were torched at Badamtam along with a GJM party office in Lebong in the outskirts of Darjeeling town.

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