Cops dismiss rebel claims

http://www.telegraphindia.com

Kalimpong, Sept. 24: Darjeeling district police today sought to play down the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF)’s claims that its armed wing — United Gorkha Revolutionary Army (UGRA) — has been running nine training camps in the subdivision.

“As of now, I have no credible information about the existence of any camps. Let me verify the claims and only then will I make a comment,” said district superintendent of police Rajesh Subarna.

Yesterday, the UGRF had made the “disclosure” in a release issued to a vernacular daily here. In it, the nascent organisation also maintained that once the training gets over, its armed struggle for the creation of the separate state of Gorkhaland would begin.

While it had not been possible to establish the veracity of the UGRF claim regarding the large number of training camps, reports earlier in the month had suggested the existence of at least one or two of them in the remote village of Suruk, 15 km from here.

Those reports were vindicated, partly, when prior to the start of the joint police-CRPF operation in the Algarah-Lava-Gorubathan belt on Thursday, the police had arrested four persons, including two men from Suruk on charges of harbouring UGRA members. However, the police did not come across any training camps either at Suruk or at Santuk from where two alleged UGRA rebels had been arrested earlier in the week. Both these villages fall in the Algarah-Lava-Gorubathan area.

The joint operation, in the meantime, has literally run into rough weather. “Unfortunately, we have been slightly handicapped because of the rain, but we will continue with our operation, and lets wait for the results,” said Subarna, when asked about the progress made by the joint team.

The lack of progress, perhaps, has emboldened the UGRF to launch a propaganda war as well, as evinced by the press release. This is something that the district police had been cautioning against since the organisation announced its existence on the night of September 5 by plastering posters in the heart of Kalimpong town.

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