Feb. 5: The KLO’s silence on the recent arrest of its leaders Pradip Roy and Narayan Roy has made intelligence officers wonder if a section of the outfit has differences with Kailash Koch, the general secretary, over holding talks with the government.
KLO assistant general secretary Pradip Roy and the outfit’s deputy commandant-in-chief Narayan Roy were arrested on January 29 on the charge of direct involvement in the Jalpaiguri blast on December 26, 2013.
The KLO had initially denied any hand in the blast that had killed six persons.
Intelligence sources said while a section of KLO leaders led by Pradip Roy was ready for talks with the state government, Koch was against it.
In a statement issued by Koch yesterday, he didn’t mention the arrest of the duo.
The statement was issued to call a 12-hour strike across north Bengal and four districts of Assam tomorrow to protest the death of Brindaban Rajbanshi in an encounter with army and police in Kokrajhar, Assam, on February 1.
“There is palpable silence on the part of the KLO over the arrests of Narayan and Pradip. The outfit had issued a press release and called a strike on January 17 to protest the arrest of Narayan Roy’s relatives (sister and brother-in-law) and some other KLO militants and linkmen in connection with the Jalpaiguri blast. But when Narayan and Pradip were arrested, there was no such condemnation from them,” said an intelligence officer.
The security agencies have pointed to contradictory statements made by Pradip and Koch to explain why they suspect there is a division in the KLO over holding talks.
“On January 14, Pradip had said the outfit was ready for talks with the state and the Centre over its demands. But general secretary Koch issued a statement on January 18, saying the outfit didn’t want dialogue with the state government. Taking into account these statements and the KLO’s failure to react to Pradip’s arrest, we suspect there are differences of opinion in the outfit,” said the intelligence officer.
When the KLO renewed subversive activities in north Bengal last year, police and intelligence agencies received information that a section of militants and leaders wanted talks with the government.
“There is another group of people like the general secretary who are opposed to the talks,” said a source.