UGRF Founder Ajay Dahal briefly speaks to the press before being bundled into The Kalimpong Court Rooms (Photo from KalimNews by Samten)
From our Special News Correspondent
Kalimpong, March 30, 2010: United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF) Founder Ajay Dahal was brought to Kalimpong yesterday amidst tight security and presented at the Kalimpong Court today to face multiple charges levelled against him here.
Ajay Dahal was kept overnight at the Kalimpong Police Thana and will be kept in remand at the Kalimpong correctional facilities till his hearing lasts.
Speaking to the press at the brief interludes between the Kalimpong Thana, the Kalimpong Hospital, where he had to go for a medical check-up and before entering the court, Ajay Dahal alleged that his arrest could be a coincidence or otherwise a ‘deep conspiracy’ by the Centre.
In the local TV broadcasts, one of the three local channels expressed reservations and misgivings about Dahal’s alleged criminalities and found similarities between his arrest and that of Chattrey Subba, who is still languising in a Jail, in the plains of Siliguri, without any ‘conviction’.
The fact that The Telegraph has kept mute over the UGRF and Ajay Dahal issue with no posts in todays paper (March 31, 2010) – is strangely interesting.
UGRF Founder arrested in Gangtok, Sikkim
09 Feb 2010: Founder of the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF), who was wanted by Darjeeling police in ‘murder and arms cases’, was arrested by Sikkim police at Gangtok today with arms.
Police said they had received information that a person was roaming around in the South-West districts private stand near Police Headquarters at Gangtok in a suspicious manner.
At around 1300 hrs, a police team was sent to verify the information. The team arrested the said person after a country made revolver and three cartridges were recovered from his luggage.
The person was later identified as UGRF president Ajay Dahal, said police who have registered a case under Arms Act at Gangtok Sadar police station.
Since Dahal was wanted in some cases in Kalimpong subdivisions of West Bengal, the Kalimpong police were informed. A team led by Kalimpong police station in-charge has already arrived in Gangtok.
As of now, Dahal is arrested under the Arms Act 1959 by Sikkim Police but if the West Bengal places requisition request, he is likely to be handed over to Kalimpong police for the cases pending against him, it is informed.
Interrogations were on till late in the evening today by both the West Bengal police and the Sikkim police.
Dahal, a former Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel had raised the UGRF on November 21, 2004 at Kalimpong and had received immediate attention by splashing posters in Kalimpong with his call for an armed struggle for the creation of a separate State of Gorkhaland.
He was the president of All Gorkha Students Union (AGSU) unit of Kalimpong prior to floating URGF.
In the posters, the UGRF called for an armed struggle for Gorkhaland, as peaceful movements had failed to achieve it.
The URGF shot to notoriety due to its alleged involvement in the murder of a GNLF supporter Yohan Singh Lepcha in Kalimpong on October, 2006. Ten members of UGRF had been arrested but Dahal was absconding and gone underground till now. Recently, Dahal was believed to have been in Sikkim and was issuing press statements to the local media here.
In his press statements, Dahal had of late been threatening Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung over the Gorkhaland issue.
Gurung blames Chamling for arrest of UGRF chief
FROM SIKKIM EXPRESS
KALIMPONG, February 10: The arrest of Ajay Dahal by Sikkim police expectedly spilled over into neighbouring Darjeeling region with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung blaming Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for the arrest of the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF) chief.
“It is the conspiracy of Chamling to have Ajay Dahal arrested,” said the GJM president in an interview to a local news channel here. He did not elaborate further.
Commenting on the recent Supreme Court order over the NH 31A blockade petition, Gurung reiterated that his party respects the order of the apex court. “We would not block the highway but if any incident happens along the highway then we would not be responsible,” he said.
Gurung said that the highway blockade issue was a small matter which could have been resolved through dialogue between Sikkim and his party. “At least there should have been a table talk keeping in view of the blood relations that Sikkim and Darjeeling people share with each other instead of approaching New Delhi over the highway issue,” he said.
“Chamling should have supported the Gorkhaland movement keeping in view of the blood relations between Sikkim and Darjeeling people,” Gurung added.
During the interview, the GJM chief said that there used to be no major problems with Sikkim during the 80’s Gorkhaland agitation by GNLF president Subash Ghisingh. The then Chief Minister of Sikkim, Nar Bahadur Bhandari had extended full support to the Gorkhaland agitation, he said.
MUCH EARLIER in 2006
UGRF claims responsibility for murder of GNLF leader
FROM THE STATESMAN
SILIGURI, Nov. 14, 2006: United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF), an extremist outfit of Darjeeling Hills, has finally claimed responsibility for the recent murder of Yonsing Lepcha, a GNLF leader.
Lepcha, it may be recalled, was killed by unidentified persons on 24 October at his residence at Lower Santuk in Kalimpong’s Algarah gram panchayat area.
The UGRF has issued a Press release, claiming responsibility for the murder. They alleged that Lepcha was against their movement and helped the police to arrest their cadres.
The Press release, signed by the UGRF’s spokesperson, Mr Rudra Acharya, stated that Lepcha used to give secret information about their camps to the police and had also been telling the locals not to support the UGRF activists.
The UGRF has threatened that anyone who opposes their movement for the creation of a separate state in the Hills would have to face similar consequences.
The release stated that Lepcha was killed at his residence on 24 October around 11.50 pm by their “Army” under the leadership of commander Sangram. The murder of the GNLF leader had triggered panic in the region.
The GNLF had also observed 24-hour bandh in Kalimpong sub-division on 25 October to protest against Lepcha’s murder. The party had demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the murder.
The GNLF had threatened that they would be compelled to take law on their own hands if the culprits were not arrested within 15 days from the date of murder. However, 20 days have passed but the police are yet to arrest the assassins.
Nearly three months before, the UGRF had announced an armed struggle in the Hills for the separate state of Gorkhaland. In September, the UGRF had claimed that its armed wing, United Gorkha Revolutionary Army, has been running nine training camps in the Kalimpong sub-division.
According to an intelligence report nearly 60 to 70 armed men are still hiding in the jungles of Kalimpong under the leadership of Ajay Dahal, former employee of Central Industrial Security Force.