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Featured Image: Seized bows-arrows and money seized from GJM president Bimal Gurung’s house (centre) in Darjeeling. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 15 June: POLICE have seized a huge cache of sharp arms, weapons, ‘explosives’, and money by raiding the house of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung that also doubles up as the party’s headquarters.

The seizure has been made in the raid at Gurung’s residence at Patleybas in Darjeeling town since today morning. The raid is being led by a joint team of state and Central forces led by senior police officers like Jawed Shamim, Siddh Nath Gupta, Ajay Nand, and Darjeeling superintendent of police Akhilesh Chaturvedi.

Raids are also being conducted in neighbourhood houses and at a residential school located at a little distance. There is no news about the whereabouts of Gurung and he is suspected to have gone into hiding.

The seized items include large numbers of sophisticated plastic bows and arrows, sickles, Nepali traditional knives (Khukri), sharp handheld wood cutters, and a huge amount of money in cash.

According to Jawed Shamim, explosives in sizeable quantities have also been seized. But he has not specified the nature of the explosives that have been found.

There are a large numbers of “bow-guns” using which one can hurl multiple arrows at one go. Police suspect that the arms, weapons, and explosives had been accumulated for attack on security forces.

This comes on a day GJM women and youth wings were to take out two rallies from Darjeeling rail station and Singmari at 10.30 am. The chances of the rallies taking place now are very thin.

Peeved at the raid and seizures, GJM has called for an indefinite general strike in all over Darjeeling Hills with immediate effect.

“We are tribals, about to hold our traditional archery competition. They (police) are projecting our traditional equipment as weapons. How can they claim bows and arrows to be arms; these are legal and we can buy that online too. Many students in the schools of hill learn and take archery as a sport is this is illegal,” GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang said.

“This is why we need Gorkhaland, as our rights, our culture, our heritage, our traditions ~ nothing is respected. GJM central committee has decided to call an indefinite strike from today and right now,” he added.

In another development, GJM women wing leader Karuna Gurung has been arrested from her house at Kurseong for allegedly planning a violent protest today.

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