Police catch UGRA leader



Kalimpong, Nov. 29: Delivering a massive blow to the United Gorkha Revolutionary Army (UGRA), police today caught the rebel outfit’s second most important member, Suk Bahadur Subba, in an ambush laid in the dense forests of the Lava-Algarah belt.

Five improvised firearms were recovered from Subba, who will be produced in the local court tomorrow.

Both Subba and Ajay Dahal, the leader of the outfit, are believed to have been involved in the murder of GNLF activist Yonsingh Lepcha, who was gunned down by UGRA militants in his house at Santuk on October 24. Subba himself hails from Santuk, and reportedly had a running feud with Lepcha.

After the murder, the GNLF had threatened to take matters into their own hand if the police did not catch the culprits within November 15, a deadline that the party later extended.

According to the police, Subba is an even bigger catch than Dahal. “More than Dahal, it was he (Subba) who used to recruit people, collect firearms and funds for the group,” said Darjeeling superintendent of police (SP) Rajesh Subarna.

The SP reiterated that it was only a matter of time before the police got their hands on Dahal as well. He said Subba’s arrest made him happy not only because the rebel was an alleged murderer, but also because the development may put an end to UGRA’s armed struggle for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Little is known about Subba’s antecedent, but sources said he has a criminal history. He is also known be an expert in making improvised firearms.

The UGRA is the armed wing of the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF) headed by Dahal. Its existence came to light in early September after posters announcing the launch of an armed struggle for Gorkhaland appeared in Kalimpong town. Since then, the police have arrested about half-a-dozen UGRA militants from the jungles in the Lava and Algarah region.

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