Arrest warrant against Gurung and other key GJM leaders
Darjeeling, September 6, 2017: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung was further cornered with a Darjeeling court issuing arrest warrants against him and 7 other front rung GJM leaders on Wednesday.
In another incident an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) explosion rocked Mirik at around 9pm on Wednesday. The explosion took place at the gates of the PWD bungalow opposite the Lake in the heart of Mirik. A police camp is in close proximity to the blast site.
A large police and Central Force contingent rushed to the spot. Investigations are on. There are no reports of any loss of life or injury as the area was deserted at the time of the blast.
The persons against whom the arrest warrants have been issued include Bimal Gurung; his wife Asha Gurung; General Secretary Roshan Giri; Youth leaders Prakash Gurung and Amrit Yonzon; Ashok Chettri; central committee leaders DK Pradhan and Tilak Chand Roka.
The case is in connection with an incident in Darjeeling on June 8. The police had lodged a suo moto FIR and a case had been started at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station on June 9. The CID is investigating the case.
The FIR has 36 names and "others. They been charged under different sections of the IPC relating to rioting, arson, criminal conspiracy read with sections of the Arms Act and Explosives Act in connection with the June 8 incident.
On June 8, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters had clashed with the security forces in Darjeeling town. Police reports claim that more than 45 security force personnel were injured in the clash. A police booth was set on fire. 15 police vehicles were torched along with a State Government Bus. Army was deployed in Darjeeling, Ghoom and Kurseong to control the situation.
On that day GJM had taken out rallies and staged a sit in demonstration a short distance away from the Raj Bhawan where the State Cabinet meeting was taking place. The rallies arrived from Singmari, Darjeeling Railway Station and Batasia Loop at the Gorkha Ranga Mancha Bhawan and staged a sit in demonstration.
At around 3pm the GJM supporters torched an effigy of the CM. Suddenly there were stones being pelted and amidst shouts a stampede ensued. Some people even tried to bring down the police barricade.
Police resorted to baton charge and bursting tear gas shells. A pitched battle ensued with police personnel, CRPF including lady police personnel and officers injured. 5 GJM supporters were also injured. Finally at around 5pm the situation was diffused and the GJM supporters and leaders left the area.
At around 7pm the 28 ministers who had attended the State Cabinet meeting had left Darjeeling for Siliguri. CM Mamata Banerjee however had stayed back to oversee the situation. At 8pm the army had been deployed and started flag marching.
"A Special Investigation Team of the CID had prayed for arrest warrants against the 8. The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court granted the prayer. For cognizable offence the perpetrators can be arrested from anywhere in the country without warrants. However with warrants it becomes easier for the police" stated Pankaj Prasad, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling.
If the police fail to execute the arrest warrants then there can be proclamation of attachment followed by attachment of properties.
Incidentally on September 1, a CID team had entered Sikkim in search of Gurung. Gurung was holding a GJM Central Committee meeting at Seven Hill Resort in Namchi in South Sikkim. Gurung had managed to give the police a slip. The Sikkim police also prevented the persons rounded up from being taken to Bengal as the Bengal police did not have arrest warrants or any other legal documents.
Anuj Sharma, ADG (Law and Order,) West Bengal, held a review meeting with police top brass in Darjeeling. Police harbor a strong belief that Gurung and his men are hiding in Sikkim.
The West Bengal Government had written to Union Home Ministry requesting the Home Ministry to direct Sikkim to cooperate with Bengal and help nab Gurung and his men who have been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in a number of cases.
GJM leaders Anil Rai and Sameer Subba were arrested from Kurseong on Wednesday in connection to cases pertaining to vandalizing, intimidation, and other sections pertaining to the Indian Penal Code.