Amid the ongoing protests in Darjeeling, the West Bengal police raided Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung's office on Thursday morning and according to media reports, recovered weapons, including a crossbow.
"A raid is going on in Bimal Gurung's office since morning. Several arms have been already recovered", Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi, the Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling district, said. However, he refused to disclose any details about the types and quantity of arms seized by police.
According to police sources, huge cache of arms and ammunition, including bow and arrows, knives, axes and cartridges, were seized.
Responding to the sudden raid, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rahul Sinha claimed that such drastic steps may worsen the situation in the hills. He has urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to call an all-party meeting in the Bengal hills to solve the situation.
"Mamata Banerjee provoked the unrest in the hills and now she is making the situation even worse with these steps. She should immediately call an all-party meeting in Darjeeling to listen to their demands and sort out the situation", Sinha claimed.
However, he clarified that the BJP is in no way supporting the GJM's demand of a separate state of Gorkhaland. "We have never supported the Gorkhaland demand, nor do we support it now," he added.
Raid at Gurung's office comes a day after the GJM leader threatened to intensify the movement for a separate Gorkhaland. The political crisis in the Darjeeling hills took a new turn after the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) snapped its alliance with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday after having joined hands with agitation spearhead GJM, saying the party has been fighting for Gorkhaland since its inception.