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WB State Govt restores security cover for GJM Supremo Gurung

EOI
Darjeeling : The state government today restored the pilot and security cover accorded to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung, which had been withdrawn ahead of the Lok Sabha election in April of this year. Interestingly, security cover for ministers and individuals of cabinet rank across the state was reinstated immediately after the election model code of conducted was lifted. However, police department officials said there was nothing significant attached to Gurung getting back his security cover. Confirming the development, Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi said, “Bimal Gurung’s pilot and security has been reinstated beginning today. It took some time since there was a state-wide review ongoing regarding the need for security cover to individuals of importance.” When asked if the GJM chief or the GTA had requested for the pilot and security cover, the SP answered in the negative. 

The state home department removed Gurung’s security in the first week of March to conform to the election norms. It may be noted that as the chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Gurung holds a cabinet ranking post and is entitled to a pilot and security. The GJM president was provided with four armed security personnel prior to his becoming the GTA chief executive and he received a pilot only in August 2012, after the GTA accord was signed. The GJM leadership had expressed its displeasure over TMC leader and NBDD minister Gautam Deb campaigning during the Lok Sabha election with full security cover while protection for Gurung was recalled. During the height of the 40-odd days of agitation for statehood in August-September 2103, the GJM chief had asked his security be removed after a spat with the state government following the arrest of GJM leaders and GTA Sabhasads. 

 Gurung declined to comment on getting his pilot and security back, while GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “The pilot and security guards had to be reinstated sooner or later. We never requested for the protection with the state government.” Earlier in the day, Gurung hinted of soon leading another agitation for statehood during a Teachers’ Day programme hosted by one of the GJM’s frontal organisations. He said, “The present five years are critical because if anything happens, it will within this period. I do not want to continue with long-term politics as it is a dirty game.” 

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