The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leadership on Monday denied any involvement with the twin blasts in the north West Bengal hills and vowed to continue their agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state in a “democratic and non-violent way” in days to come.
“The movement (for Gorkhaland) was non-violent in the past, it is non-violent today and it will continue to be democratic, non-violent and peaceful in the future days to come,” Binoy Tamang, Joint Secretary of GJM’s Central Committee said in a press release.
Condemning the two explosions in Darjeeling and Kalimpong on Saturday, within a span of 24 hours, that killed one civic volunteer and injured two others, the GJM leadership said they are “equally worried at the acts of arson and violence” in the hills and rubbished allegations of having tie-ups with any insurgent groups.
“GJM condemns the acts of blasts in front of Darjeeling supermarket and Kalimpong police station. We are equally worried at the acts of arson and violence in the Darjeeling hills, Terai (plains) and Dooars (foothills). The acts are being perpetrated to destroy the peace in the region,” Tamang claimed.
“The GJM reiterates that it does not have any tie-ups with any insurgent organisations either in northeast India, Nepal or any part of the world,” he said repeating his party’s demand for handing over the investigation of the blasts to the National Investigation Agency.
The Bengal government including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier claimed that insurgent forces from Nepal and northeast India are involved in the acts of violence in the Darjeeling hills.
Following the two blasts, police have booked GJM chief Bimal Gurung and other Morcha leaders under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), while the state government claimed the explosives used in the blast might have been brought in from other countries.
Meanwhile, intensified police patrolling and naka checking continued in the Darjeeling hills in wake of the blasts.
Police in both Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts conducted raids at various places to look for the possible suspects behind the two explosions, a senior police official said.
“The raids are on. Police are looking for the suspects at all possible places in the hills,” Kalimpong Superintendent of Police Ajit Singh Yadav told IANS.
He said the primary investigation by the CID revealed that high intensity explosives including nitroglycerin was used in the hand grenade thrown at the Kalimpong police station.
Both blasts took place on the 69th day of GJM sponsored indefinite shutdown in the hills. While the explosion in Darjeeling town post Saturday Midnight damaged a few shops in the supermarket area, the blast at the front gate of Kalimpong police station killed a civic volunteer and injured a home guard and a Seema Sashatra Bal trooper.