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6 Aug 2017

CID nabs GJM chief spokesperson

Dwaipayan Ghosh & Deep Gazmer | TNN | Aug 6, 2017, KOLKATA/DARJEELING: A joint team of the CID and police from Darjeeling and Siliguri arrested Norbu G Lama (45), chief spokesperson of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), in the wee hours of Saturday for his alleged role in inciting violence at Bhanu Bhawan in Darjeeling on June 8. 
The trouble that day, at a time when CM Mamata Banerjee was holding an administrative meeting in the town, proved a flashpoint that led to further trouble in the Hills. 
Lama has been remanded in seven days' police custody, said ADG (CID) Rajesh Kumar. Lama represents Tukdah in Darjeeling. 
He is the third person to be arrested in the case after former sabhasad Satish Pokhrel (still in jail) and Vikram Rai, son of a GJM leader. 
Police sources said they were trying to gather information on Lama, who was to visit Siliguri for organizational work. "We arrested him based on specific inputs," said an officer. The arrest sparked tension in Ranglee Rangliot in Teesta Valley, that was represented by Lama. 
The members of the Gorkha Mahila Morcha, led by GJM supremo Bimal Gurung's wife Asha, organised a sit-in protest. Sources in the state intelligence and CID said that they now have "crucial leads" on top GJM leaders' movement, that are now "restricted between Kurseong and Patlewas". 
"Leaders including Prakash Gurung and Amar Rai are critical for GJM to continue the strike in the Hills, while the top-rung leaders handle the political crisis. We have definite inputs that Prakash and his youth league members are holed up at Patlewas. We are trying to carry out more arrests," claimed a source. 
GJM leaders, however, put up a brave front and announced 'Bengal Darjeeling Chhoro' movement from August 9 to coincide with the 75th year of the Quit India Movement. 
"While people elsewhere participate in Tiranga Yatras, rallyists in Darjeeling will carry only the national flag and chant Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata Ki Jai besides Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland. Just as the British enslaved the country, tortured and exploited us, the West Bengal government has forced people in the Hills to live in slave-like conditions. While paying homage to those who fought for our country's freedom, we will also demand independence from Bengal," the GJM president said on Saturday. 
Meanwhile, demonstrations continued unabated in the Hills on the 52nd day of the general strike on Saturday. On Sunday, Darjeeling artists will form a human chain with the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

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