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GJM preparing for underground armed movement with Maoists help: WB Police

Darjeeling is on the boil since the first week of June when the GJM launched an agitation over alleged attempts to impose Bengali in schools of the Gorkha-dominated hills and reignited the decades-old demand for the separate state of Gorkhaland.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2017 10:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Darjeeling
Gorkhaland,Gorkha,Darjeeling standstill
Supporters of Gorkhaland Movement chant slogans during the 38th day of an indefinite strike at Milanmore village in Darjeeling district on the outskirts of Siliguri on July 22.(AFP Photo)

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) is preparing for a prolonged underground armed movement for a separate state and has hired Maoists from neighbouring countries as mercenaries to train its cadres, according to senior West Bengal government officials.

“We have inputs from intelligence agencies that Maoists from neighbouring countries have been hired by the GJM. And it may target government properties and senior police and administrative officials so as to further aggravate the situation,” ADG (Law and order) Anuj Sharma told PTI.

The GJM leadership has, however, refuted as “completely baseless” the allegations that it was taking help from Maoists.

“These are completely baseless statements. These statements are being made to malign us and derail the democratic movement,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said.

A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the GJM has hired 25-30 Maoists mercenaries to train its cadres.

“The GJM has a huge cache of arms and ammunition. They have stockpiled arms for the last few years. And we have intelligence reports that they are preparing for underground armed movement in the hills,” said the official.

Another senior official said the government is “prepared for any situation and steps are being taken to tackle any sort of armed struggle”.

In the last 38 days of the indefinite shutdown, there has been several instances of attack on police stations and outposts.

Arms and ammunition were also looted, a trademark of Maoists movement.

After receiving the intelligence inputs, the state government has send for several top IPS officers, including those who have wide experience in countering Maoist menace in the Junglemahal areas of Bengal from 2009-2012.

Senior IPS officer Manoj Verma, who has vast experience in countering Maoists insurgency in West Midnapore district from 2009-2011 and later on in counter insurgency force, has been posted as IG Darjeeling. Several other mid-level officers of the counter insurgency force have also been sent to the hills to tackle the situation.

According to the police, the GJM is training its cadres in the guise of its “peacekeeping” outfit Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP).

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 10:14 IST