The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Letters link KPP & rebels

Siliguri, Oct. 31: Letters seized from arrested militants have led police to suspect a “link” between the Kamtapur People’s Party and the militant Kamtapur Liberation Organisation.

The KPP, spearheading a movement for a separate state for the ethnic Rajbanshis of north Bengal, has steadfastly denied connection with the militant outfit blamed for the killings of five CPM workers in Dhupguri on August 17. The party has since denounced the KLO for undermining the Kamtapur movement by resorting to violence.

Inspector-general of police (north) Bhupinder Singh said the letters, seized in recent weeks from militants in Jalpaiguri and Haryana, were written by the top KPP leadership and the KLO militants holed up in south Bhutan. Trusted people from both sides had acted as “couriers”.

The documents revealed the KLO’s stated intention to steer the Kamtapuri movement. In its correspondence, KLO commanders told the KPP leadership to carry out its directive. Most of the letters were addressed to a top KPP leader.

A few senior KPP leaders, including party chief Atul Roy, have been questioned about the letters, which police claimed carried their signatures. But no arrests have been made yet.

Singh said they have informed the administration in Calcutta of “the contents” about the letters and were awaiting orders for arrests. “Even the chief minister has been informed,” he said.

Police sources said the state administration was not in favour of arresting the KPP leadership without “solid” evidence. The administration fears that the arrests of KPP leaders would turn them into “martyrs” and boost the dying movement.

A police officer said they were trying to get more information on the suspected links between the KPP and the KLO before taking any KPP leader into custody. Singh called the seizure of the letters a major breakthrough. “They say a lot about the latest equations between the KPP and its militant counterpart. It is significant because the police have, for the first time, been able to lay hands on something that will end confusion about their affinities.”

The officer said the police are trying to identify the sympathisers who had carried the letters back and forth. A state intelligence branch official said the “sensitive” letters would help them establish the “real links and the shared ethos of the two organisations”.

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