STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 7 February
The identities of the two persons purportedly arrested by Nepal police from Jhapa district in east Nepal yesterday have remained fog-bound with the police officials from north Bengal and Nepal putting contradictory claims, deepening the mystery further. It was earlier stated that Nepal police had arrested two top guns of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). But today, police on both the sides of the border failed to confirm if the men in question are indeed from KLO.
Sources on the side of police in north Bengal earlier said those arrested by Nepal police in Jhapa district yesterday were the most wanted KLO top gun, Tom Adhikary and another militant belonging to the same insurgent outfit, Manchalal Singha.
Nepal police, however, did not corroborate the claim.
Police in north Bengal and that in Nepal today failed to say whether the arrested duo were associated with KLO, as earlier claimed by the former.
While north Bengal Inspector General of Police, Mr Jawed Shamim has chosen to be silent on the matter the chief of Nepal&’s Eastern Regional Police Office in Biratnagar town, DIG, Navaraj Silwal, on his part, said he cannot immediately say if the arrested men were at all KLO militants or not.
Mr Silwal, however, confirmed they picked up the duo from Jhapa district in east Nepal and that they are investigating now if the documents they held, identifying them as Nepali nationals, are genuine or fake.
“We have started an investigation to ascertain if the documents are genuine,” Mr Silwal told The Statesman over telephone from Biratnagar.
Asked if they will hand the duo over to Indian police in response to the latter’s claims, he said Nepal police will first ascertain if the documents the duo held are genuine and, “if they turn out to be fake, we will first take legal action against them as per our laws".
“After that, we will coordinate with police in our neighbouring country and see what can be done,” Mr Silwal added.
According to sources here, north Bengal police are trying to get the duo&’s custody. They said Bengal police will produce documents with Nepal police to prove that they are Indians and are wanted in several cases here. Mr Silwal, however, said late in the evening today that the Nepal police have not received such claims and documents as yet.
Tom Adhikary alias Jaideb Roy, the vice chairman of the outfit and Manchalal Singha aka Nilambar Rajnasi aka Doctor and some other KLO militants, who were arrested in 2003, were granted bail after the Trinamul Congress government came to power in 2011.
They later went underground and conducted fresh recruitment drives.
Adhikary, along with the other KLO militants, was arrested by the Royal Bhutan Army during the Operation Flushout in 2003.
Police sources here say that investigations have revealed that some KLO top guns might be operating from their hideouts in Nepal and planning extortion rackets to revive the outfit.
Following the Bajrapara blast in Jalpaiguri and firing on a bus in Malda following in quick succession in December last, the investigating agencies confirmed that other dreaded KLO militants had taken shelter in Nepal.
Sources say the outfit desperately needs funds to revive its sleeping cells and bring up new ones.
Police have already arrested three KLO militants, including two top guns–deputy commander-in-chief, Narayan Roy aka
Tarun Thapa, the assistant general secretary Pradip Roy alias Rahul alias
Iqbal Siddiqi alias Prannarayan Koch–from the porous Indo-Nepal border on 29 January for their alleged involvement in the Bajrapara blast.