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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Darjeeling unrest: Police report advises wait and watch approach

The report submitted to chief minister Mamata Banerjee names two persons, one of whom is a retired officer of Central Industrial Security Force and lives in Nepal. The report claims they are fuelling the movement from behind.

kolkata Updated: Jun 28, 2017 16:25 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Police firing tear gas shells in Darjeeling on June 17.
Police firing tear gas shells in Darjeeling on June 17.(HT Photo)

The special team of Indian Police Services (IPS) officers overseeing Darjeeling operations has suggested that the Mamata Banerjee government adopts a “wait and watch” policy instead of “application of force’ to tackle the ongoing crisis in the hills.

According to bureaucrats who requested anonymity, the report submitted to the state secretariat on Tuesday has two persons, who, the police believe, are playing a key role in fuelling the agitation for statehood from behind.

Read: Darjeeling locals throng Nepal, Bhutan to beat Internet ban

“The first name is Ajay Daval, a retired commando officer of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who is believed to be operating sitting at Bhaktipur in Nepal. The police report has mentioned a person named Anik Rai, who, intelligence officers believe, is acting as the medium between Daval and GJM. Rai is absconding, as per the police report,” said the bureaucrat.

File picture of a vehicle set on fire by the agitators in Darjeeling.
File picture of a vehicle set on fire by the agitators in Darjeeling. ( HT Photo )

The report has also mentioned that police intelligence has so far failed to track the source and route of supply of ration and other essential commodities to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists.

The hills have witnessed violent clashes between Morcha supporters and security forces since June 8. Three GJM supporters died allegedly to police firing on June 17.

Jawed Shamim, inspector general (Enforcement Branch) and an associate of the three- member IPS team, came to the state secretariat of Nabanna on Tuesday afternoon and submitted the report.

After the report was submitted chief minister Mamata Banerjee had a close door meeting with chief secretary Basudeb Bandopadhyay, home secretary Malay De, DGP Surajit Kar Purakayastha and Kolkata police commissioner, Rajeev Kumar.

Read: Darjeeling will remain in India; Bengal must dump opposition to Gorkhaland

“According to the police report, GJM activists are distributing the food and other essential commodities including medicines among the people in the hills, following which its popularity in increasing among the people,” the official said.

File picture of Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha members demanding a separate state at Darjeeling rail station on October 3, 2015
File picture of Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha members demanding a separate state at Darjeeling rail station on October 3, 2015 ( Samir Jana )

In the present situation, the report suggested the government should be patient and try for negotiations instead of applying force, since application of force might worsen the situation further.

Read: Darjeeling unrest: Gurung says GNLF, JAP can’t be trusted; hills unity under cloud

Incidentally, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has ruled out any dialogue with GJM as long as they continue with violent agitation. She has even suggested that the agitation had foreign links and that the GJM chief is behaving like a terrorist.

“There is a terrorist brain behind this hooliganism and vandalism. Only a terrorist and not a common man can do this. We have got clues that this has terrorist connections. They (GJM) have connections with underground insurgent groups of the north east ... I request them (insurgent groups) not to extend any support to the GJM,” Mamata Banerjee told reporters on June 17.

“The report has also been mentioned that some influential businessmen having business interests in the hills may be responsible for keeping the supply chain intact in the hills. The Intelligence Branch of state police is trying to identify these businessmen and also the routes of this supply chain,” said the state government official.

The three-member IPS team has also recorded a mild complaint about the lack of enthusiastic participation of the six companies of central forces deployed in the hills in tackling the agitators.

“The central forces deployed there is only acting as back-up support for the state forces rather than leading from the forefront,” a bureaucrat said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 12:53 IST

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