Darjeeling violence: Bimal Gurung, the Chief of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) office has been raided by the police today amidst protests seeking a separate state of Gorkhaland, which they want carved out of West Bengal. The police according to the Indian Express had raided the office the GJM leader. The police have reportedly seized weapons such as sickles, knives, arrows and machetes along with a large amount of cash from Gurung’s office in Darjeeling and also arrested some of the leaders at the spot. Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Darjeeling’s Superintendent of Police told ANI that they were tipped off about GJM workers collecting arms to attack police. Chaturvedi said ”We received information that the GJM were collecting arms, so we conducted the raids. We recovered prohibited arms, arrows, bows, explosives and a large amount of cash”.
After the raids, GJM has called for an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling according to PTI. Roshan Giri, General Secretay of the GJM told the Indian Express that ”We have called for an indefinite strike over the high-handedness of the police”.
GJM Assistant General Secretary, Binay Tamang has claimed that the bows and arrows seized by the police were meant for an upcoming archery competition.
Tamang said ”Police presented our equipment for the archery competition as weapons. We are tribals and need our rights, traditions, heritage and culture is not being respected. We demand an independent Gorkhaland”.