The state government has arrested Binay Tamang, one of the top leaders of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and a member of its central committee, late on Wednesday, pushing the stand off with the GJM to a new level.
According to early reports Tamang was arrested from Sikkim. He was arrested on earlier cases.
Five other GJM workers were arrested with him. The arrest signals a resolve on the part of the government to crack down hard on the agitation in the hills, and delivers a big blow to the Morcha.
The Mamata Banerjee administration has taken the route of cracking down hard on the GJM struggle. Earlier the chief minister herself remarked that as long as the GJM continued on the path of disruptive and agitational politics the stance of the government would remain the same.
According to the police, more than 500 GJM supporters and leaders have already been taken into custody since August 3 when the Morcha started indefinite bandh in the hills.
The bandh has been withdrawn now, but the arrests continue.
“We have heard that Tamang has been arrested. On the one hand the state government is saying the Gorkha Territorial Administration has to start working. On the other, they are arresting our leaders. It is difficult to understand what does the government want. I don’t know where will such arrests take the struggle to,” remarked Harkabahadur Chhetri, MLA and GJM leader.
Tamang will be produced in a Kalimpong court on Thursday.
GJM stepped up agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland after the Congress Working Committee approved a resolution granting statehood to Telengana.