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11 Jun 2017

Govt plans Morcha counter - Police stations go through crime records of leaders: Sources

Morcha chief Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling. (Passang Yolmo)
TT, Darjeeling, June 10: The Mamata Banerjee government has started clearing the decks for action against some key leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which perpetrated violence in the Darjeeling hills on Thursday, sources said.
On a day the Morcha readied itself for a showdown by calling an indefinite agitation in the hills, the sources said the crime records of several party leaders in the past three years were being reviewed. According to the sources, all vital police stations across Darjeeling, Mirik, Kalimpong and Kurseong were going through the records.
"Some action is likely.... But the timing is yet to be decided," a source said.
Sources in the home department said three senior IPS officers - Jawed Shamim, Siddhi Nath Gupta and Ajay Nand - who have been sent to Darjeeling on special task have been assigned to look after parts of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong and gather information on the developments on the ground.
"Over the next few weeks, we will keep a close watch on the situation and at the same time, finish our homework on those behind the fresh agitation in the hills," an official said.
The sources said the government was apprehensive about gatherings in the aftermath of Thursday's violence.
The Morcha has announced that during the indefinite agitation, party workers and supporters will hold torchlight rallies across the hills every Monday to drum up support for a separate Gorkhaland state. The government is likely to gather specific inputs on the build-up of the movement and those who would spearhead it.
"To build a credible database, officers from the district intelligence branch aren't enough. Experts have been brought in to bolster the intelligence-gathering process," a police source said. That the government was caught unawares by Thursday's violence had pointed to intelligence failure.
As IG (north Bengal), Shamim had played a key role in tackling the Morcha's statehood movement in 2013 by gathering detailed information about the leaders who coordinated the agitation.
Gupta was among the officers who spearheaded anti-Maoists operations in Lalgarh in 2009-10. In 2014, he was one of the three IPS officers who were awarded by the chief minister for commendable service.
Nand had led the Counter-Insurgency Force against Maoists in 2011.
"Across all the 45 areas where the Morcha plans to hold protests and rallies, the government wants to have prior knowledge of the leaders at the forefront of the movement and the power each of them wields," an official said. "This is the first step towards neutralising them," he added.
The Darjeeling superintendent of police, Amit P. Javalgi, was removed last night. The home department today replaced the inspectors-in-charge of the Kalimpong, Kurseong and Siliguri police stations. The government sent three additional officers to join a team of three who will conduct a special audit of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
(Source & Courtesy: The Telegraph https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6899257476008847399#editor/target=post;postID=2553653734667741325)

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