Assam arms haul: Report reveals GJM involvement

An investigation into the seizure of a huge cache of sophisticated arms and ammunition from the Assam-Bengal border has revealed the alleged involvement of a section of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) cadres in Darjeeling, who may have tried to smuggle in the consignment from Dimapur.

Sanjay Rai Thulung, a Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) sabhasad from Takdah-Glenburn was found absconding when police raided his house. A hunt is now on to nab him. Meanwhile, investigators said Umesh Karmi, who was arrested with the consignment, worked as the driver of GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

A couple of years ago, he started working as a transporter in the Assam-Bengal region. It is believed that Karmi, who is being questioned, stayed in touch with GJM leaders.

Besides Karmi (29), a resident of Lankapara in Jalpaiguri, the police also arrested Ganesh Chhetri (53), a resident of Assam’s Baksha district on Saturday. The two were allegedly carrying the consignment in a Tata Safari with a West Bengal registration number. A team of Bengal police questioned the duo, while Darjeeling district police is likely to plead for their custody next.

According to a police report submitted to the state Home department, the arrested persons revealed that they had been asked to carry the consignment to Darjeeling. It is learnt that some leaders in Darjeeling were trying to build an armed group, ‘Gorkha Liberation Army’. The report also said the GJM has split and one of the two groups is preparing for a fresh armed struggle.

Intelligence reports also hinted members of GJM youth wing, Gorkha Yuva Morcha, are disillusioned with the leadership and have allegedly talked about a fresh movement for Gorkhaland.

GJM forms panel to probe charge
Responding to the controversy over the alleged role of GJM cadres in smuggling of sophisticated arms into Darjeeling, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said on Wednesday that the party has formed a five-member committee to probe into the involvement of GTA sabhasad Sanjay Rai Thulung and others in this episode.

“We believe in democracy and we will not support any form of violence. We have formed a five-member internal probe committee to look into the matter,” said Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the GJM. At an emergency central committee meeting of the GJM, the GJM leadership acknowledged a split in the party, particularly with a sizable section of the Yuva Morcha leaders moving away from the party.