Glare on Gurung's links

Intelligence agencies have said Bimal Gurung met senior leaders of the NSCN (Khaplang) a few months back and the Nagaland militant outfit imparted arms training to youths from the hills in Myanmar.

By KINSUK BASU in Calcutta
  • Published 14.10.17
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Calcutta, Oct. 13: Intelligence agencies have said Bimal Gurung met senior leaders of the NSCN (Khaplang) a few months back and the Nagaland militant outfit imparted arms training to youths from the hills in Myanmar.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president called on NSCN (Khaplang) leaders soon after Assam Rifles had arrested Rajesh Lama, a self-styled lieutenant of the Gorkha Liberation Army (GLA), from Five Mile in Tinsukia, said an intelligence report that reached Nabanna.

Rajesh was arrested in June on charges of carrying sophisticated weapons.

"Gurung's meeting soon after the arrest was aimed at cementing the ties with the rebel outfit. The meeting took place within weeks of S.S. Khaplang, the head of the break-way faction of the NSCN, passing away in Myanmar," said an intelligence source.

Bengal police have learnt that during interrogation, Rajesh told the Assam Rifles how a select group of youths of the GLA from Darjeeling and Kalimpong were undergoing training in arms handling and tactical warfare under the tutelage of the NSCN (Khaplang) in Myanmar.

The GLA had claimed responsibility for a bomb blast in Mirik during the recent statehood movement.

"There appears to be a blueprint in place by Gurung to create unrest in the hills. There are reasons for us to believe that a section of Gurung's supporters has connection with an insurgent group of the Northeast and Maoists," Anuj Sharma, the additional director general of police (law and order), said today.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is probing into several cases of arson, rioting and murder against Gurung and his followers since the unrest began in the hills on June 8, has also found leads that corroborate the intelligence findings.

Sources in the CID said information reaching them suggest some of the weapons that were used for attacking the police since June 8 were very sophisticated and were brought in from Nepal. The GLA, the CID has learnt, had purchased a few AK47s, rifles and submachine guns from the NSCN earlier this year.

"These weapons were kept in the safe custody of a section of Maoists in Nepal and were brought in ahead of the Singamari violence on June 17. The arms that were recovered during the encounter today were brought from Nepal," said a CID officer.

Report with the Bengal home department suggest Sanjay Thulung, one of Gurung's most trusted hands and a former GTA Sabha member, used to solely oversee the procurement of arms from both Myanmar and Nagaland. Thulung had built the bridge with the NSCN (Khaplang) with the help of one Lalit Biswakarma, an Assam-based power broker, two years back.

In his late thirties, Thulung had then allegedly provided Rs 13 lakh to the NSCN to give four months of arms training to 15 GLA cadres from the hills.