A massive search operation was launched today in Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas for GJM supremo Bimal Gurung, even as the indefinite shutdown entered its 80th day. The police had yesterday issued a lookout notice against the GJM chief for his alleged involvement in various cases, including a bomb blast in Kalimpong police station in which a civic volunteer was killed. The bandh continued after Gurung revoked party convenor Binay Tamang’s decision of suspending it till September 12, when the next round of dialogue with the state government is scheduled.
The GJM chief had also expelled Tamang yesterday on the charge of “violating the party line and indulging in anti-party activities”. Questioning the decision, Tamang today lashed out at Gurung and party general secretary Roshan Giri. “I do not need to take lessons from them. I am a son of the soil and am fighting for the interests of my Gorkha brothers. I want to ask Gurung and Giri, if they are so concerned about fighting for Gorkhaland, why did they send their families abroad so that they can be safe?” he asked. Meanwhile, chairman of Kurseong municipality, Krishna Limbu was arrested today for his alleged involvement in cases of arson and violence in the hills in June this year. Protests by pro-Gorkhaland supporters have rocked various parts of the hills in support of the shutdown. Picketing by GJM supporters has been strengthened in several parts of the hills, and posters and leaflets were distributed in support of the bandh. Rallies in support of the ongoing shutdown and Gorkhaland were taken out in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada and Kalimpong.