West Bengal police today recovered huge amount of explosives from Lebong Valley area of Darjeeling hills. A large police contingent including central forces carried out the raids where gelatin sticks along with metal pieces which are believed to be used for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were recovered from a house.
The police believes that it is part of the stolen gelatin sticks from NTPC project at Negi.
West Bengal Police claim that the offenders are connected to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), the party that is spearheading the Gorkaland movement in the hills and they have arrested Puran Tamang, a GJM youth wing leader from Lebong. Bhaskar Rai, the owner of the alleged house has been detained for interrogation along with a few others. The explosives recovered are similar to the ones used in the blasts at various parts of the hill.
Pro-Gorkhaland activists took out rallies in various part of the hills including Darjeeling and Kalimpong even as the GJM sponsored indefinite shutdown in the north Bengal hills entered its 82nd day.
The picturesque hill station of Darjeeling has in recent days been a witness to less than picturesque scenes after numerous protesters have taken to the streets in order to renew their demand for a new state of Gorkhaland.
Fresh demands for a separate state were triggered after reports of Bengali being made a compulsory language for all schools in the hills. The opposition to this ‘Bengali imposition’ was reported to be peaceful initially, but the state administration is now being accused of ignoring the grievances of people by engaging with the Gorkha activists over their concerns.
Around 16th June, there were already signs of situation worsening after there were reports of alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists setting a Panchayat office and a Health Center ablaze in areas nearby Darjeeling. This though has been strongly refuted by the GJM MLAs, who have accused the TMC government of turning a peaceful political movement into a law and order situation. They have also claimed that outsiders were indulging in this arson and it had nothing to do with GJM activists.
Amid all these, tourism, which is the main income for the people over there, has taken a huge hit.