Incident just before GJM decided to meet Mamata to end stir.
Kolkata: Another improvised explosive device (IED) blast rocked Darjeeling late on Friday night, even as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) have decided to send five of its leaders to attend the all-party meeting to be chaired by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna on August 29.
The blast took place on the Sikkim-bound national highway at Satash Mile in Kalimpong. At around 11.30 pm, a gang of 10 men blocked a truck carrying food materials to Sikkim. Some of them first opened fire at the wheels of the truck to deflate them. Two rounds were fired to puncture the tyres of a front wheel and a rear wheel.
Other members of the gang later set off an IED, destroying the vehicle. No one was injured. Had there been any other vehicle around the truck, there might have been casualties. Superintendent of police (Kalimpong) Ajeet Singh Yadav inspected the spot.
He said, “It appears that the IED was powerful, which has caused deep craters on the road. Large splinters were used in the IED. It looks like long iron rods were cut for use as splinters, apart from the use of small iron rings. IEDs are used by terrorist and maoist groups for subversive activities. In this case too, either a terrorist or Maoist link definitely is there.”
Meanwhile, GJM MLA Amar Singh Rai informed on Saturday that a five-member delegation from the party would attend the dialogue at the state secretariat. The decision was taken by the party at a meeting on Friday. The team would not however be led by GJM president Bimal Gurung as he has two cases against him on UAPA charges, which the party fears may lead to his arrest if the talk fails.
It will be led by senior GJM leader Binay Tamang. Other members of the delegation are B.Bhujel, Anit Thapa, Shering Dahal and Rohit Thapa. According to sources, the GJM team is likely to raise the demand of Gorkhaland during the meeting.
The party’s move to face the state government over the table came after Mr Gurung wrote to the chief minister for a dialogue on a day Ms Banerjee announced the date of the all-party meeting. The Hills have been in the grip of violence over the last two months as the GJM has called for an indefinite shutdown pressing for separate statehood.