West Bengal Police had intimated Sikkim Police before raids in Sikkim
Darjeeling, September 3, 2017: The Sikkim - West Bengal police controversy over West Bengal police reached a new high with evidence of West Bengal police having intimated their Sikkim counterparts before conducting raids and even seeking cooperation. This has definitely put Sikkim police in a sticky wicket.
In another incident there was an IED blast at 6th mile police camp in Kalimpong in the wee hours of Saturday.
A letter had been sent to the Superintendent of Police, South Sikkim on August 31, 2017 from the Office of the Special Superintendent of Police (North), Criminal Investigation Department, Siliguri, West Bengal in which the West Bengal police have requested for police assistance for conducting raids in South Sikkim. A digital copy of the receipt copy of the letter is available with Oneindia.
The letter states "There is credible information and input that several accused wanted in the above noted case who are absconding, are available under your jurisdiction. Kindly render necessary police assistance during raid under your jurisdiction to apprehend Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung, DK Pradhan and others in connection with the above noted case."
The letter gives reference to a Darjeeling Sadar Police Station Case no. 115/17 dated 09/06/17 under section relating to rioting, arson, criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code read with sections of the Arms Act, Explosives Act, West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The letter was signed by Ajoy Prasad, Spl. Superintendent of Police, CID, West Bengal. The letter bears the received seal of the SP, South Sikkim dated September 1. Raids were conducted on Friday.
Sikkim police had alleged that a West Bengal police team in plains clothes had entered Sikkim on Friday without informing Sikkim and without any legal documents required in such cases. The Central Committee meeting of the GJM was underway at Sevel Hill Resorts in Namchi in the South district of Sikkim on Friday when the West Bengal CID team barged in.
Though the main target was to nab Bimal Gurung, the GJM President managed to give the police a slip. However some central committee members were arrested by the police. Sources stated that a part of the West Bengal police team left Namchi with most of the arrested.
However the Sikkim police stopped the remaining from returning to the Darjeeling Hills with the others arrested. Among them were Sabitri Rai, Jagdish Singh and Bimal Rai. Jagdish Singh and Bimal Rai are both residents of South Sikkim.
Sikkim sources stated that as the West Bengal police failed to produce any legal documents, 7 police personnel from West Bengal including officers were detained by the Sikkim police. Late at night they were released. Police also released Jagdish Singh and Bimal Rai.
Sabitri Rai was produced at the Namchi Court on Saturday. The West Bengal police had put in a prayer for transit remand. The court however released Savitri on bail.
An incident of shootout had allegedly occurred at Sadam, near Namchi on Thursday afternoon. A dead body was later found by the Sikkim police. The deceased was identified as Dawa Bhutia (34 yrs), from Pedong, Kalimpong. He was the driver of Dawa Lepcha, former GTA Sabha member. His body was taken from the Namchi Hospital to Pedong on Saturday.
The Sikkim police then registered a murder case against Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong and the team. They seized three vehicles including the vehicle of SP Kalimpong.
When contacted by media persons regarding the West Bengal CID letter, the Superintendent of Police, South Sikkim abstained from commenting.
There have been questions raised by West Bengal regarding Sikkim's role in the Darjeeling unrest. There are allegations of Sikkim harbouring and providing safe passage to agitators wanted in West Bengal. "How can Sikkim allow safe passage to Bimal Gurung and other leaders who have been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act?" questioned Gautam Deb, Tourism Minister, Government of West Bengal.
In the past also there have been allegations of Sikkim fanning the Gorkhaland fire. In June 2017 Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in support of Gorkhaland. Chief Minister Chamling had also moved a resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in March 2011 in support of Gorkhaland.
Meanwhile two persons from Sikkim had been nabbed and the vehicle they were travelling in was seized on Friday night from the Gosainpur area under the Bagdogra Police Station near Siliguri. An improvised gun, two rounds of live ammunition and posters were recovered from the vehicle.
The poster stated that the ongoing indefinite bandh in the Hill will continue protesting against the anti-Gorkha stance of the Bengal Government. Under no circumstances will the bandh be lifted. It was signed as GJM, Kalijhora Unit.
The two arrested Dipesh Limboo and Prabhat Chettri were produced at the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Siliguri on Saturday.
At around 1:30am on Saturday an IED was lobbed in an empty police camp at 6th Mile under the Rungli Rungliot Police Station in the Darjeeling sub division. The walls, ceiling and windows and doors were damaged in the blast. However no one was injured as the camp was empty.