Darjeeling, Sept. 13: An inspector of food and supplies department was detained here today for allegedly diverting food grains meant for public distribution system.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, however, said Navin Subba had been detained on trumped-up charges. “His wife Manjula Subba is a senior Nari Morcha leader from Jorebunglow-Ghoom. The police had been trying to arrest his wife and when they failed to do so, Subba was picked up by the law enforcers on some trumped-up charges,” said a Morcha leader.
The police said Subba had been detained from Darjeeling town late this evening. “He has been detained for diverting food grain of the public distribution system. Subba is being interrogated by the police now,” said Kunal Aggarwal, the superintendent of police of Darjeeling.
Incidentally, the Subba family also has a ration shop in Darjeeling, said sources.
Yesterday, the police had arrested Nand Kishore Agarawal, a PDS dealer, from Sukhiapokhria, about 25km from Darjeeling, and claimed that he had confessed to diverting food grains to the Morcha. Nand Kishore was today remanded in police custody for four days.
However, the police didn’t say Navin Subba had been detained for diverting the food grains to the Morcha.
In the evening, Morcha president Bimal Gurung posted a message on Facebook, condemning “the arrest of innocent Gorkhaland supporters and termed it as an act of state terror. “I condemn the fictitious and surreptitious arrest of innocent Gorkhaland supporters. This is clearly an ‘act of state terror’,” the post read.
Former minister and CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya alleged on Friday that the government had arrested traders in the hills to intimidate the business community and the Gorkhaland shutdown could have ended much earlier if the chief minister hadn’t taken a tough stand, reports our Siliguri correspondent.
Minister and Trinamul leader Gautam Deb said not a drop of blood had been spilled in the hills during the fresh round of the movement and all those who had been arrested had faced charges of law violation. Deb on Friday distributed food grains among the people at Latpanchar, Shelphoo, Gumbagaon and Sitong in the Kurseong subdivision.
The villages are 30-40km from Siliguri.