Monday, 30th October 2017

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'Feeler' to wind up GLP camps

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  • Published 1.06.10

Darjeeling, May 31: Darjeeling police have put out “feelers” to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to wind up the camps of the Gorkhaland Personnel and refrain from deploying them in security fatigues.

The party, however, has decided to ignore the message.

“We have sent feelers to the Morcha to wind up its camps. There could be problems with the deployment of the CRPF personnel in Darjeeling,” a senior police officer of the district said today. The officer, however, added that there was no order from the government to ban the GLP.

The Morcha has recruited around 4,000-odd boys and girls from the hills and the Dooars for the GLP and pays them a monthly remuneration that ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000.

Apart from providing security to Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, the stick-wielding personnel are also seen patrolling the streets in uniform. There are at least five camps in the hills.

The officer who did not want to be identified said the initiative was taken up “on our own” keeping in mind the volatile situation in the hills, particularly after the killing of ABGL leader Madan Tamang. “Also, other political parties from both the hills and the plains have approached us that the GLP should be banned,” he said.

Colonel (retd) R. Allay, the chief of the GLP, admitted to have received the “feelers”. “In Kalimpong, a few police officers came to the camp in Goaskhan on Friday and told the boys to wind up the camp. We inquired with senior administrative officials but they said there was no written order from Calcutta banning the GLP,” Allay said.

The GLP chief ruled out disbanding the squad and listed the “social work” its members were doing. “We see no reason why it should be banned,” said Allay. In yesterday’s rally, the GLP was used to control the crowd and traffic.

Allay evaded a direct reply when asked if the squad would still be deployed in security fatigues. “The government is well aware that no arms training have been given to the GLP. Every party can have its youth cell and this is precisely such a cell of the party,” he said.

K.L. Tamta, the inspector-general of police of north Bengal, today said the CID team probing Tamang’s murder had left for Calcutta on Saturday. “They have forwarded to the police a list of 24 names of those allegedly involved in the killing. Raids will be conducted to catch the culprits,” Tamta said.