Kolkata/Darjeeling, Sept 3: West Bengal Tourism Minister Goutam Deb accused Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of “patronising and protecting” Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, who was “allowed to flee” when Bengal police went to the neighbouring state to arrest him.
Bengal minister says Sikkim CM protecting GJM chief
The GJM leadership, however, asserted that it would press for the “one-point agenda of creation of separate state of Gorkhaland” in the September 12 all-party meeting convened by the state government in agitation-hit north Bengal. “Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has been patronising and giving protection to Bimal Gurung. Yesterday (on Friday), Bengal Police went there to arrest a person (Gurung) who was accused of unlawful activities under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Bengal Police had given prior intimation to the Sikkim Police,” Goutam Deb said on Saturday.
The Trimool Congress leader’s comments come a day after West Bengal Police arrested at least nine GJM leaders during a raid in south Sikkim’s mchi on Friday where the party had held its central committee meeting during the day. Sikkim police has said its Bengal counterparts “did not produce any documents” which led them to “prevent the arrests”. Meanwhile, Deb charged Chamling with interfering in Bengal’s interl matter on a previous occasion too.
“Chamling had sent letter to the Central government supporting GJM’s demand for separate state of Gokhaland and in view of that resolutions were taken twice in the Sikkim Assembly earlier,” he said. The West Bengal Police’s CID on Friday issued look out notices against three GJM leaders, including Gurung, as tension mounted in the northern West Bengal hills following a rift within the Morcha leadership over temporary withdrawal of the indefinite shutdown in the region. At the conclusion of the meeting, the party leadership said some of the GJM leaders would be present at the September 12 all-party meeting convened by the state government in north Bengal. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to hold a second round of all-party meeting in the north Bengal branch of state Secretariat — Uttarkanya — after finding the first leg of meeting in Kolkata “satisfactory”. (IANS)