Darjeeling, Sept 8 IBNS | 1 year ago

Security forces in overnight search operations arrested 35 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists, including a businessman in Darjeeling district of West Bengal even as an indefinite shut down for the Gorkhaland state affected life in the hills.


Darjeeling's superintendent of police Kunal Agarwal on Sunday said during fresh search operations 35 people have been arrested from different parts of the hills.

A Kalimpong based businessman, identified as Asoke Periwal, was also arrested from Siliguri on Saturday for alleged funding to the
criminals. He was also close to GJM president Bimal Gurung.

The Kalimpong police also arrested two youths on charges of extortion who demanded money from Ajay Agarwal, local bureau chief of Nepali daily 'Himalaya Darpan'.

Agarwal had filed a police complaint stating some youths had demanded Rs 4 lakh from him.

With those rounded up so far, over 900 Gorkha activists have been taken into custody since Aug 3.

An attempt to burn shops in Kalimpong by some unidentified miscreants early on Saturday was also foiled by timely dousing the blaze, police
said.

A businessman whose shop at Ongden Raod was half-burned alerted others, who doused the flames before spreading further to cluster of
shops in the area.

Police superintendent Songmit Lepcha acknowledged the arson and investigation was on.

Similar attempts have been made earlier too with shop owners finding kerosene sprinkled on their shutters.

Meanwhile, life affected in the hills for past six weeks with the demand for separate state for the Gorkhas.

The GJM, however, announced lifting of strike on on Monday and Tuesday allowing the people to bye essentials and rations, which have been scarce due to everything remaining immovable for over past six weeks.

(Posted on 08-09-2013)