Brother of absconding GTA sabahsad arrested

2 Nov 2016

The Darjeeling police on Tuesday arrested Bijoy Rai (Thulung), brother of absconding Gorkhaland Territorial Administration sabahsad, Sanjay Thulung, accused in the November 2014 arms haul case in Assam.

On November 8, 2014 the Assam police arrested Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri from Chirang district of that north-eastern state with a huge cache of arms which they had concealed in a secret chamber of the vehicle they were travelling in. The duo revealed the arms were meant to be delivered to the GTA sabhasad in Darjeeling.

Kami and Chhetri had also revealed that several arms consignments had been earlier supplied in Darjeeling from Dimapur. Based on their alleged confessions, the police on December 6, 2014 recovered a rifle and 22 live cartridges from an abandoned house near 27th Mile under Rangli-Rangliot police station. Incendiary leaflets in the name of an unknown outfit called Gorkha Liberation Army calling for an armed struggle for a separate state were also seized.

Rai, a resident of Musey Khola in Tukdah tea garden under Rangli-Rangliot police station, along with his brother Bijoy, and Kami, Chhetri and 10 more people were named in the FIR filed by the CID who was investigating the case. The matter has been transferred to the Darjeeling police now. Rai was arrested on Tuesday from Jorebungalow, 8km from Darjeeling town, and produced in the chief judicial magistrate court this afternoon.

“Rai has been arrested in the case related to the recovery of a rifle and live cartridges from an abandoned house under Rangli-Ranliot police station in December of 2014. A case had been started  in the police station under Section 120B (waging war against the state), read with Sections 25/27 of the Arms Act,” said Pankaj Prasad, the assistant public prosecutor.

The CID had also tagged Kami and Chhetri with the recovered arms consignment from the Fulbari check post area under Bhaktinagar police station in Siliguri. The two had revealed that at least 13 Gorkhaland Personnel had undergone arms training in a NSCN camp in Nagaland. “During interrogation, Kami and Chhetri named Sanjay Thulung as the one to receive the arms and that he was in contact with the banned NSCN militant outfit of Nagaland. The two also revealed that Thulung had facilitated arms training to the GLPs in the NSCN camp and that he had also undergone training there,” said the APP.

Kami and Chhetri have been granted bail in the Rangli-Rangliot case, although the former is presently in an Assam jail while Chhetri is out on bail in the case related to the November 2014 arms haul case.

Joydeep Bhattacharjee, the CJM in-charge, today sent Rai to six days police custody and will need to be produced at the court on November 7.

“Many arms consignments that have made their way to Darjeeling are yet to be recovered. We still have to find out how many others are involved and who have taken arms training with NSCN militants,” Prasad said.

Taranga Pandit, the defence lawyer, said the accused's bail plea was rejected and police custody announced with conditions. “The arms were recovered from an abandoned place and my client has no relation to the case. Also, the case has proceeded to a substantial extent. Since my client is suffering from a heart ailment, we have requested the police to ensure the presence of a cardiologist, and also give his family access to meet him,” he said. (EOIC)