GORKHA POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: Governor dials CM, meets police

Governor dials CM, meets policefor a ‘lasting and permanent’ solution towards ‘peace, harmony and justice’ ?!!

His Excellency Governor MK Narayanan - expresses "shock & sorrow", leaves for Kalimpong ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

May 21: Governor M.K. Narayanan, now on a vacation in Darjeeling, reacted with “shock and sorrow” at the “gruesome murder” of Madan Tamang and condemned the “politics of violence” in the hills.

Raj Bhavan sources said Narayanan was so “disturbed” at the killing that he called up chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and discussed with him at great length the incident and the hill situation. He said “firm action” should be taken to deal with the killers.

Later in the evening, he summoned north Bengal inspector-general of police K.L. Tamta, Darjeeling district magistrate Surendra Gupta, superintendent D.P. Singh and special inspector-general D.T. Lepcha.

In a statement issued in Darjeeling, Narayanan said: “The government is determined to come down heavily on those indulging in violence. This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue.”

Only three days ago, Narayanan had met Tamang when the ABGL leader visited the Raj Bhavan in Darjeeling as part of the fledgling Democratic Front to discuss the hill situation and complain about the highhandedness of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Alleged Morcha supporters killed him today.

In today’s statement, the governor did not mention the Morcha, whose leaders he met on Wednesday and whom he appealed to “see that peace and tranquillity in the hills is not disturbed”.

In a tone that was sterner, the governor today said: “The law-enforcement agencies of the state government have been asked to take all possible steps to restore order at any cost. Violence cannot be allowed to disrupt the life and livelihood of the peace-loving people of the hills.”

Describing Tamang as a “respected leader of Darjeeling”, Narayanan said the attack on him could “only be described as an attack on the democratic forces”.

During the meeting with Narayanan on Tuesday, the Front leaders had complained about “lack of democracy” in the hills and how the Morcha was preventing them from carrying on with their political activities.

They had also mentioned the attacks that the Morcha had allegedly launched on the offices of other political parties in the hills.

Governor urges firm action – and that ‘justice’  & ‘firm action’ not be misinterpreted by Bengal ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

May 21: Governor M.K. Nar-ayanan, now on a vacation in Darjeeling, reacted with “shock and sorrow” at the “gruesome murder” of Madan Tamang and condemned the “politics of violence” in the hills.

Raj Bhavan sources said Narayanan was so “disturbed” at the killing that he called up chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and discussed at great length the hill situation. He said “firm action” should be taken to deal with the killers.

Later in the evening, he summoned north Bengal inspector-general of police K.L. Tamta, Darjeeling district magistrate Surendra Gupta, superintendent D.P. Singh and special inspector-general D.T. Lepcha.

In a statement issued in Darjeeling, Narayanan said: “The government is determined to come down heavily on those indulging in violence. This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue.”

Only three days ago, Narayanan had met Tamang when the ABGL leader visited the Raj Bhavan in Darjeeling as part of the fledgling Democratic Front to discuss the hill situation and complain about the high-handedness of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Alleged Morcha supporters killed him today.

In today’s statement, the governor did not mention the Morcha, whose leaders he met on Wednesday and whom he had appealed to “see that peace and tranquillity in the hills is not disturbed”.

In a tone that was sterner, the governor today said: “The law-enforcement agencies of the state government have been asked to take all possible steps to restore order at any cost. Violence cannot be allowed to disrupt the life and livelihood of the peace-loving people of the hills.”

Describing Tamang as a “respected leader of Darjeeling”, Narayanan said the attack on him could “only be described as an attack on the democratic forces”.

During the meeting with Narayanan on Tuesday, the Front leaders had complained about “lack of democracy” in the hills and how the Morcha was preventing them from carrying on with their political activities. They had also mentioned Morcha attacks on their offices.

Concern, not crackdown… Simply a case of murder: Govt – Bengal caught flat-foot going against the will of the Darjeeling people ?!!

Policemen and people who had come to attend the rally run away while Madan Tamang is being attacked - so, no one saw the attackers ?!! (Photo by Suman Tamang)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

May 21: The Bengal government today said it had asked the Darjeeling administration to arrest the culprits behind Madan Tamang’s murder, but gave enough indication that, like in the recent past, it would not take any action that could “precipitate” the situation in the hills.

After a meeting with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, both home secretary Samar Ghosh and director-general of police Bhupinder Singh made it clear the “sensitive” hill situation would have to be handled “carefully”.

“We have sent additional state forces to Darjeeling,” Ghosh said.

Curfew in KPG after 27july 1987 police firing - history not to repeat itself, but dogma will ?!! (Himal News Archives)

“Strict vigil has to be maintained so that clashes or killings do not occur. But we also have to make sure the police do not do anything that can be termed excesses. After all, the situation in the hills is sensitive. We are treating this incident simply as a case of murder. So, only the standard operational procedure will be followed.”

The government is aware that the situation is “tricky” as Tamang’s alleged killers are Morcha supporters and it would not want to do anything “hasty” that could derail the ongoing talks to end the hill impasse. “As it is, the talks are stuck over the dispute on territory. If the state does anything that upsets the Morcha, it could jeopardise the talks further,” an official said.

“It is important to measure the cost of action.”

Underlining what Ghosh said, state police chief Singh stressed there had been “no breakdown in law and order” in the hills and there was no need to react to it as such. “It’s a case of two political parties combating each other,” Singh said.

“It is not that some ethnic or communal clashes have broken out. Only if there is a law-and-order breakdown will the government crack down. But that is not the case. There are no reports of clashes after the incident.”

Pranab Mukerjee - still hegemonistically confused as his befuddled inflatory economy, not seeking a 'permanent & lasting solution' - is he ?!!

In Delhi, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, too, indicated that normality had to prevail and the tripartite talks had to go forward. “Our main priority will be to keep the national highways which pass through Darjeeling district open as they are vital to our security… they connect Sikkim and Bhutan,” Mukherjee told The Telegraph. “I’m worried about the violence spreading in the hills.”

Mukherjee said the talks with the “Gorkha (Janmukti Morcha) leaders” would continue. “In the long run, some more autonomy may be granted but neither a separate province nor extended territory for Gorkhaland is possible…. Darjeeling is a strategic area and a perpetual solution through dialogue is the only way out.”

In Calcutta, minister of state for hill affairs Asok Bhattacharya, one of the state’s two representatives at the political-level tripartite talks, lashed out at the Morcha, holding it responsible for Tamang’s murder. “The Morcha killed Tamang in a pre-planned manner as he had called for the restoration of democracy in the hills.”

On the future of the tripartite talks, Bhattacharya said: “Tripartite meetings cannot be held at gunpoint or with those who have blood on their hands. Today’s incident will surely have an impact on such meetings.

However, Ghosh cautioned against “jumping to any conclusions”.

“We’ll go by what the Centre says,” the home secretary said. “Today’s incident is definitely undesirable but the agenda for the tripartite meeting is different.’’

In Delhi, Union home secretary G.K. Pillai admitted that the bloodshed would impact the talks atmosphere. “It (the murder) vitiates the atmosphere for talks. There is a need for people to keep calm and work towards a peaceful solution and all sides need to maintain peace,” he said.

North Bengal inspector- general of police K.L. Tamta said three companies of the CRPF were heading to Darjeeling to ensure normality in the hills.

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