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Darjeeling Protest Leader Raided By Police; Arson, Vandalism By Mob

Hours after raids on the chief of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Bimal Gurang, who is leading protests to demand a separate Gorkhaland, angry protesters in Darjeeling set a press car on fire that led to lathicharge by the police.

Police recovered nearly 400 weapons, including arrows, and explosives when they raided office of the Morcha in Darjeeling this morning. A leader of the group, Karuna Gurang, was arrested.


On the recovery of weapons, the GJM leader said, "What have they found? Khukri is part of our tradition, what is the harm in keeping it ? Bows and arrows are traditional weapons. They were meant for students for archery competition".

A large number of police and security personnel were seen today at the Morcha's addresses, including the Kanchenjunga Stadium where it holds its meetings.

Earlier this week, protesters vandalised government offices in Darjeeling as part of the Morcha's call for a shutdown. On Tuesday, there were clashes in which the police used batons on protesters.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha controls the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration or GTA.

Following the raids, the Morcha called for an indefinite shutdown in the hills from today.

"The state government is indulging in politics of witch-hunting," said GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri.

"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," Mr Giri told news agency PTI.

The raids came a day after Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said that his group's campaign for a separate Gorkhaland state would go on till it was achieved. He has asked tourists to avoid Darjeeling, a tea-growing region of West Bengal state and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

Source: ndtv

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