Kurseong/Darjeeling, Jan. 25: GNLF leader I.N. Pradhan was arrested from Sukna today after eluding police since Tuesday night when he allegedly fired at Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters in front of his house at Ghayabari.
Jayanta Pal, the additional superintendent of police of Darjeeling, confirmed that it was an arrest and not a surrender. “He was arrested from Sukna,” Pal said.
Following an FIR lodged by the Morcha on Tuesday night, the police had found two unlicensed guns from Pradhan’s house and arrested his wife, Deepa, but failed to track down the Kurseong branch committee president of the GNLF.
The Morcha had called a general strike across the Darjeeling hills yesterday, demanding his arrest.
Pradhan was produced at the Kurseong subdivisional judicial magistrate’s court around 12:30 this afternoon and sent to jail custody. However, keeping in mind the condition of his health, especially since there were several injury marks on his face as well as his body and legs, the court ordered immediate medical attention.
Following a preliminary investigation by doctors at Kurseong Subdivisional Hospital, Pradhan was referred to Siliguri Sadar Hospital.
Court sources said the next hearing would be held on February 7.
Pradhan has been charged under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC.
Sources in the GNLF said Pradhan’s lawyer might move a bail plea on Monday when the court opens after the weekend. Pradhan’s wife is also in jail. She has been booked under Sections 25 and 27 of the arms act.
N.B. Khawas, the general secretary of the Kurseong Branch committee of the GNLF, refused to comment.
Daya Dewan, the press and publicity chief of the Morcha in Kurseong, said: “We want the arrest of the other supporters of the GNLF who were with Pradhan at the time of incident (on Tuesday).”
In Darjeeling, the Morcha suspended its torch rally today, though the party went ahead with similar rallies in Kalimpong and Kurseong.