The police today raided some premises of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and arrested some party activists following which the outfit called for an indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling Hills.
Arrows, sharp weapons and explosives were recovered during the raids at the premises in Singmari and Patlebas areas in Darjeeling, the police said.
“Some of the premises of Gurung and other GJM activists were raided. We conducted the raids on the basis of concrete information. The raids are still on. We have arrested a few GJM activists,” a senior police official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
The police, however, denied that Gurung’s residence had been raided.
Infuriated by the police raid, the GJM called for an indefinite shutdown in the hills from today, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said.
“The state government is indulging in politics of witch-hunting. The police and the state government are provoking us to call an indefinite strike in the hills. We will inform the Centre about the atrocities of the state government. We have called an indefinite shutdown in hills from today,” Giri told PTI.
The raids came on the fourth day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite strike in government and GTA offices in the hills.
The development also came a day after Gurung said that the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland would go on till it was achieved. He had asked tourists to avoid visiting Darjeeling.
The GJM’s call for a separate state of Gorkhaland gained momentum after six other hill parties extended their support to GJM and unanimously passed a resolution, demanding a separate state on Tuesday.
The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), an ally of the ruling Trinamool Congress, broke its alliance with the TMC and joined hands with the GJM for a separate state.
The Centre had despatched 600 paramilitary personnel to assist the West Bengal government in restoring normalcy in violence-hit Darjeeling hills which witnessed incidents of stone pelting during GJM-sponsored indefinite bandh.
The Centre had also sought a detailed report on the prevailing situation in the hill district from the state government.