KOLKATA: A huge cache of arms was recovered at an area close to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s absconding president Bimal Gurung’s residence in Darjeeling a day before West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached the troubled hills to attend a business meet beginning Tuesday.
One double-barrel gun, two single-shot country guns, 15 live ammunition, 22 machetes and 50 metres of camouflage cloth were recovered from Limbu Busty near Gurung’s Patleybas residence on Sunday evening. The cache was recovered on information provided by the GJM supremo’s driver Sidhant Kami, who was arrested on March 6.
The recovery of weapons amid tension in Darjeeling following alleged rape threat by station house officer (SHO) Soumyajit Roy has kept the police on their toes. It was during Mamata’s Cabinet meeting in Darjeeling on May 8 last year that Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of the state erupted in a 104-day-long agitation that led to the death of 12 people and massive destruction of government properties.
Amid the tense situation, Darjeeling SP (Operations) Amarnath K alleged that Gurung has mobilised around 120 Gorkha youth and secured funds of over Rs 1 crore from Sikkim to fuel the Gorkhaland agitation.
“Bimal Gurung had distributed many firearms to people before going underground. Only two-five per cent of the firearms have been recovered. Besides, of the 300 kg gelatin explosives stolen from the hydel power plant at Negi near Bijanbari last year, only about 80-90 kg has been recovered,” the SP said.
He also claimed that GJM activists had kidnapped one Suk Tshering Lepcha, who is an experienced gun-maker since the days of armed conflict from 1986-88.
Meanwhile, relatives of Achutram Bhattarai on Monday filed a complaint against SHO Roy at the DSP office in Darjeeling. They said they were fearful after the police inspector issued threats to rape his sister and mother and to burn down his house.