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Featured Image: TV grabs of GJM cadres hurling stones at police and a car set on fire by them at Darjeeling’s Patleybas on Thursday noon. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 15 June: TENSION has gripped Darjeeling Hills following police raid and seizure of huge cache of arms and weapons this morning from the residence of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung that also doubles up as the party headquarters.

Alleging that police were trying to frame Gurung by confiscating bows-arrows, knives, sickles, and machetes that are “traditional” weapons of the Gorkha Nepalis, a large number of GJM activists, mostly women, have now attacked the security forces near Gurung’s house at Patleybas in Darjeeling town.

The attack started soon after police sealed Gurung’s house and a nearby school after arms-weapons were found there. GJM activists are showering stones-bricks at police and have also set on fire two cars ~ one belonging to police and the other to a news organisation covering the incident.

To contain the violent GJM activists, police are carrying out lathi-charge and bursting teargas shells. But the situation is so volatile that security forces are finding it difficult to resist the attacks being carried out on them from the slopes of the hills and from the by-lanes located up above.

Additional police forces are being rushed to the site from elsewhere in Darjeeling town. Similarly, GJM is gathering its cadres in different parts of the Hills.

Similar violence is being reported from Kalimpong, where GJM workers have taken out a huge rally against the raid and sealing of Gurung’s house in Darjeeling. A police outpost has been torched by GJM activists at Pedong on the outskirts of Kalimpong.

Shops and markets in Darjeeling and elsewhere in the Hills have shut down and vehicles have gone off the roads.

Condemning the “witch-hunting” of Bimal Gurung and the raid on his house cum GJM headquarters, the party’s assistant general secretary Binay Tamang has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose President’s Rule in West Bengal.