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Cop boss warns Morcha brigade GLP cannot check man or car: Tamta

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 5, 2009

A GLP member at Lower Rishi Road, 10km from Kalimpong, with strips of Spasmo Proxyvon — a pharmaceutical drug legally produced but widely abused — which he claimed were seized from a vehicle on Tuesday.

A GLP member at Lower Rishi Road, 10km from Kalimpong, with strips of Spasmo Proxyvon — a pharmaceutical drug legally produced but widely abused — which he claimed were seized from a vehicle on Tuesday.

Aug. 4: Police have decided to crack down on the Gorkhaland Personnel, a cell of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, if the uniformed youths are found stopping and searching vehicles plying in the hills.

K.L. Tamta, the inspector-general of police, north Bengal, said: “They have no constitutional right to check any individual or vehicles. Even the army and the paramilitary forces are not entitled to search randomly, then how can the GLP have any right?”

Morcha president Bimal Gurung had yesterday announced that the party would “deploy” the GLP on NH31A along the Sikkim border to check the inflow of “illegal liquor and timber” into Darjeeling. He said it was the right of each individual to stop illegal activities.

So long, the GLP had been engaged in enforcing a Morcha ban on gutka and smoking in public places in the hill towns. They also volunteered to clear the debris after the landslides struck the hills in May.

“If the GLP is found checking any vehicle, we will immediately book them for obstructing roads, wrongful confinement and extortion. These are the minimum charges we have in our mind,” said Tamta. Despite Tamta’s announcement of action, many reported that GLP members were checking vehicles along various routes.

A group of 15 tourists from South Korea, returning after a trek in West Sikkim, was stopped by a GLP patrol at Third Mile, 10km from Kalimpong. Liquor bottles found in their luggage were seized.

Kipa Tshering Bhutia, the leader of the GLP group that stopped the Koreans, said that they had been eventually allowed to carry the liquor.

“They were visitors and did not have any intention of using the liquor for commercial purposes. However, we seized 10 cases of beer and hard liquor from vehicles coming from Sikkim,” he said.

One of the guides accompanying the tourists said he had called up some Morcha leaders in Darjeeling. “They returned the liquor as their bosses had told them that tourists were not to be disturbed,” the guide said.

The GLP has been functioning as a parallel administration in the hills from the time Gurung’s party called a strike on July 13. In fact, more GLP members were seen in town than the police personnel during the 13-day strike period.

The Morcha had initially said the GLP would be engaged for crowd management at party rallies and disaster management, to help control traffic and trained in martial arts but not in fire arms. “The GLP is like the RSS. We are not challenging the police but only using the GLP to control our own rallies and ensure that our supporters do not create law and order problems,” Binay Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha had said earlier.

Tamta’s decision to crack down on the GLP seems to be a move to impose the writ of administration in the hills at a time when the Morcha cell of volunteers is trying to function as a quasi-legal force.

Asked if the police had made any attempts to stop the GLP activities in the past, Tamta said: “We received a complaint (of assault) against the GLP on July 30. I immediately went to Rangpo the next day and found that the GLP had occupied a community hall at the Tenth Mile. I moved in two companies of police to the hall.”

A Sikkim Nationalised Transport driver Aitaraj Pradhan had filed the complaint saying the GLP had beaten him up. Colonel (retired) Ramesh Allay, who heads the GLP, said the driver was intoxicated and possessed marijuana. “We told the SNT about him, but no one beat him up.”

Source:The Telegraph

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