West Bengal, Sikkim police at logger heads over arresting leader from Darjeeling Hills.
Kolkata: A battle between a West Bengal police team and Sikkim police team over the arrest of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders has added a new twist in the tale of Darjeeling deadlock as West Bengal tourism minister Goutam Deb on Saturday openly accused Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of harbouring GJM chief Bimal Gurung who managed to escape in the last minute during the raid by the West Bengal police team on the GJM central committee meeting at Namchi in Sikkim on Friday.
He warned that the Mamata Banerjee government would act according to the constitution against the Sikkim goverment's move. Mr Deb alleged, “The Sikkim CM is totally patronising and protecting the GJM chief who is an accused on charges of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He definitely has an ulterior motive which is against the Constitution. On Friday when the West Bengal police team conducted a raid there, Mr Gurung was escorted by the Sikkim police for his escape. It is a shameful and unfortunate incident. We strongly condemn it.”
Wondering how an UAPA accused could enjoy shelter in a neighbouring state Mr Deb claimed, “Our government will act into it as per the provisions of the constitution.” Significantly Mr Chamling had offered his support to the GJM's demand of Gorkhaland.
A 40-member team including the criminal investigation department and intelligence branch of the West Bengal police raided a resort, allegedly owned by a minister, at Majhitar in Namchi where Mr Gurung had convened the party's central committee meeting in the afternoon.
A video between the two police teams which came to light during the day showed the cops from both side fighting with each other in front of the hotel over the arrest of nine GJM leaders including Sabitri Rai.
Ms Rai, who is booked in a case on non-bailable charges, was however granted bail by the local court which left the state police furious. Sources in the the West Bengal police claimed that the Sikkim police was initimated well before the raid. Still when the nine GJM leaders were arrested, Sikkim police resisted the West Bengal police team from taking away the arrested accused, sources added.
More shock however came to them later when a case on murder charge was initiated against superintendent of police (Kalimpong) A.S. Yadav, who led the raid, after a GJM worker, Dawa Sherpa (34), who was allegedly shot dead by the state police. Meanwhile chairman of Kurseong Municipality Krishna Limbu, also a GJM member, was arrested by the police in the morning in connection with the incidents of violence.