Darjeeling impasse: Bengal seals GJM office building, arrests 3 for cop’s death
The plot of land in the Singamari area had been illegally registered in the name of Avinash Gurung, son of the GJM president, said Darjeeling district magistrate Joyshi Dasgupta.kolkata Updated: Nov 01, 2017 22:31 IST
Virtually cornering Bimal Gurung, the Bengal government on Wednesday sealed the main office of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling, saying the land on which the building stood belong to the government.
The plot of land in the Singamari area had been illegally registered in the name of Avinash Gurung, son of the GJM president, said Darjeeling district magistrate Joyshi Dasgupta.
Bimal Gurung, who has so far stuck to his demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland, is believed to be hiding in Sikkim as he has been charged under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Avik Chatterjee, sub-divisional officer of Darjeeling reached the building, located about 4 km from Darjeeling town, with a police force. The officers pasted a notice at the entrance. It said: “This property and land belongs to the Government of West Bengal. Entry is forbidden.” The three entrances were sealed.
The four-storey building was constructed by Bimal Gurung in 2003. The ground floor houses four shops while the remaining three floors have the offices of GJM and the its frontal organisations such as the Nari Morcha, Yuva Morha, Ex-servicemen Morcha and the trade union wing. The shops will remain open, said Chatterjee.
The police also arrested three persons in connection with the death of police sub-inspector Amitava Malik on October 13. Shyam Kami, Mahindra Kami and Dewaj Lepcha, residents of the Dooars, were arrested near Poolbazar.
The youths are believed to be members of Gorkhaland Personnel, an outfit of volunteers raised by GJM. Malik died in a forest located about 20 km from Darjeeling town. Mahindra Kami’s name was mentioned in the FIR filed earlier, said a senior police officer.
Wednesday’s development came as a major setback for the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM since many GJM offices, included the sub-divisional office in Darjeeling, have already been occupied by the Binoy Tamang faction of the party. Tamang, who was expelled by Gurung, is now the government appointed chairman of the board of administrators in the semi autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
The GJM head office at Patleybans was raided by the police on June 15 prompting Gurung to call an indefinite bandh in the hills. Police also claimed to have seized a large quantity of explosives from there. The office was sealed.
Some local GJM leaders alleged that there are many illegal buildings where other political parties have set up offices but GJM has become the prime target.