WB CID Freezes Bank Accounts of GJM Leaders for “Purchasing Arms”

Gorkhaland agitators continued to run amok on Thursday, burning down two government offices in Darjeeling.

4 min read
Activists during a protest demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. 

Amid the withdrawal of Army from the hills on the state government request, the pro- Gorkhaland agitators continued to run amok on Thursday, burning down two government offices at Lamahatta in Darjeeling.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters threw petrol bombs at a revenue department office and a panchayat office, reducing them to ashes, the police said.

The supporters of the GJM and other hill parties also held a demonstration on Thursday outside the district magistrate's office demanding restoration of Internet services which remained suspended for the last 32 days.

Moreover, the West Bengal CID frozen bank accounts of top Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders, including its president Bimal Gurung GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and assistant general secretary Binay Tamang , alleging that the funds were being "misused".

A CID Officer said:

Bank accounts of Gurung, Tamang and Roshan Giri have been freezed on 17 July after it was found that the funds were misused for illegal operations such as purchasing arms. All these three accounts were in a private bank in Darjeeling and belonged to the GJM leaders who were using the fund for all sort of illegal activities starting from purchasing arms and weapons. Hence, we decided to freeze the accounts.

On Wednesday, a century-old community hall and a Trinamool Congress (TMC) party office in the Darjeeling hills were set ablaze by pro-Gorkhaland supporters, police said on Wednesday, as the indefinite shutdown for a separate state entered its 35th day.

While the Raj Rajeswari hall in Kurseong area was reduced to ashes after the blaze late on Tuesday night, the TMC party office in Darjeeling town was also gutted after it was set on fire on Wednesday. An official said, as quoted by PTI:

No one was injured but both the hall and party office were reduced to ashes. We are trying to identify the culprits.

A police vehicle was also set on fire by unidentified miscreants, during the GJM protest rallies, according to an ANI report.

A police vehicle set ablaze by pro-Gorkhaland supporters. 
A police vehicle set ablaze by pro-Gorkhaland supporters. 
(Photo Courtesy: ANI Screen grab)
Political party activists, dressed in traditional Nepali attire, took out rallies in the morning. They were heard raising slogans in support of a separate Gorkhaland state. The GJM also has plans to conduct rallies in various parts of the hills on Wednesday.

The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) on Tuesday urged their national alliance partners to raise the Gorkhaland issue in Parliament's ongoing monsoon session.

The committee that held its third meeting in Kalimpong since its inception last month, also condemned the alleged killing of a pro-Gorkhaland activist Ashish Tamang (who belongs to Magargunj) in Mirik town in police firing. Police officials have denied this claim. Following Tamang’s death, the agitators took out a rally with the deceased’s body.

Pro-Gorkhaland agitators on Tuesday fought a pitched battle with the police, pelting stones and petrol bombs at them and setting afire two of their vehicles and an outpost in Darjeeling hills. The protesters also vandalised government property in Mirik.

The coordination committee of the hill parties, also decided to continue the strike till 1 August when the committee would meet again, this time in Delhi, to review the situation.

The agitators also set two police vehicles and a police outpost on fire, the official sources said. The agitators pelted stones and hurled petrol bombs and glass bottles at the police, forcing the security personnel to resort to cane-charging the agitators and lobbing tear gas shells at them, said police officials.

Several Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists and police personnel were injured in the clashes, the sources said.

Gorkhaland supporters protest the death of Ashish Tamang.
Gorkhaland supporters protest the death of Ashish Tamang.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter Screen grab / ANI)

“When we took out a large rally in Mirik this (Tuesday) afternoon, our activists were attacked and provoked by the state ruling party supporters. Nearly seven Trinamool Congress supporters got injured in the clash while one of our activists (Ashish) sustained serious injury inflicted by a Kukri (Nepalese knife),” GJM leader Binay Tamang claimed.

According to the sources, the clash became more violent after police rushed to the spot and charged tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The large crowd attacked police and resorted to stone-pelting.

“Police started tear gas shelling from around 8 pm near a market in Mirik. They also opened fire at our activists. That is when Ashish got shot,” Binay Tamang added.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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