Explosives, IED making equipment seized in Darjeeling, one arrested

The West Bengal Police on Monday seized a large amount of explosives and equipment for making improvised explosive device (IED) from a house in Darjeeling district’s Lebong area, a senior police officer said.

“A large amount of explosives including gelatin sticks and IED making materials were seized from the house of Bhaskar Rai during a raid in Lebong’s Dawaipani on Monday. Some cartridges of .303 rifle along with some bullet heads were also recovered from the house,” Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi said in a press conference.

“It seems the house was used for making IED explosives. We recovered detonators from the neighbouring houses,” he said.

Claiming that the offenders are connected to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, the party that is spearheading the Gorkaland movement in the hills, police said they have arrested a GJM leader from Lebong for allegedly being involved with the factory.

“Puran Tamang, a GJM youth wing leader from Lebong has been arrested. Bhaskar Rai, the owner of the alleged house has been detained for interrogation along with a few others,” said Chaturvedi.

Police said the recovered explosives are similar to the explosives used in the blasts at various parts of the hills.

Meanwhile, pro-Gorkhaland activists took out rallies at various parts of the hills including Darjeeling and Kalimpong as the GJM sponsored indefinite shutdown in the north Bengal hills entered its 82nd day.

In Darjeeling district’s Mirik, local Trinamool Congress leadership conducted a peace rally demanding the withdrawl of shutdown on Monday morning.

Some shops in Mirik’s Panighata market opened up following the rally after staying closed for nearly two months, a local shopkeeper said.

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