Press Trust of India
SILIGURI, Sept. 24: A new group, with suspected links with Maoists in Nepal, has emerged in the hills of Darjeeling which gave birth to the Gorkhaland movement by GNLF chief Mr Subash Ghisingh, with a call to take up arms for creation of a separate state.
The new outfit, United Gorkha Revolutionary Front led by a former former Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) man Mr Ajay Dahal, was launched two years ago, but its existence came to be known in the hills recently, police said.
The police came to know about it from posters put up in Kalimpong on 6 September.
In the posters, the UGRF called for an armed struggle for Gorkhaland, as peaceful movements had failed to achieve it.
The sources said that the UGRF, with suspected links with Nepal maoists, were asking the hill people to “work hand in hand to secure their right for a separate land for Gorkhas in West Bengal”.
Intelligence sources said that Mr Dahal had joined the GNLF, but left to go over to the GNLF(C) faction led by by Mr CK Pradhan who was killed four years ago. He then left it to form the UGRF.
Darjeeling superintendent of police Mr Rajesh Sharma said that four activists of the UGRF were arrested recently.
The police were looking for Mr Dahal, who was believed to have gone underground.
Police sources in Kolkata said it was being ascertained if the UGRF had any link with the subversive Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in north Bengal and the ULFA in Assam.
KLO, active in both Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts, has been fighting for a separate state for the Rajbanshi tribes in north Bengal. Municipal affairs minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya said that the people in the hills would reject the UGRF which was launched with “a suicidal policy”.
The minister said he had asked the police to take up the matter urgently and act on it. Mr Bhattacharya said that Mr Dahal might be seeking to assert himself as a leader after failing to emerge as one in the GNLF and in the breakaway faction GNLF(C).
Press Trust of India