Tamang’s murder: Darjeeling tense, FIR against GJM leaders – to be arrested on just FIRs or irrefutable proof ?!!
From Indo Asian News Service
Darjeeling, May 22, 2:37pm (IANS): Darjeeling continued to be tense Saturday, a day after Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was stabbed to death. Police complaints were filed against 11 people, including Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, and searches were on to nab more people in connection with the murder.
Apart from Gurung, a first information report (FIR) was also filed against GJM secretary Roshan Giri over the killing of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Tamang.
‘Cases will be started against them soon,’ a police officer said.
Darjeeling district acting Superintendent of Police Gourav Sharma was leading the raids that started soon after Tamang was stabbed to death Friday near the Planters’ Club here while he was making preparations for a party rally later in the day.
At least 45 people have been detained while raids are on in different parts of the three Darjeeling Hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong to nab the culprits, said Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamta.
‘We are interrogating lot of people to zero in on the culprits and also get details of the circumstances leading to Tamang’s murder,’ said Tamta.
Tamang, 64, who led the anti-GJM Democratic Front in the Darjeeling Hills, died of stomach and shoulder injuries after he was attacked with a khukri (long knife used by Nepalis) and swords on Laden La Road around 9.30 a.m. Friday.
ABGL general secretary Laxman Pradhan blamed the GJM for the killing. The GJM has denied its involvement and instead blamed the state administration.
Tamang’s body has been kept at his house in Darjeeling town and would be taken to his ancestral house at Magma for cremation as per Buddhist rituals Monday, ABGL sources said.
The articulate and well-educated Tamang was involved in hill politics for over 40 years as a front-ranking ABGL leader. A strong advocate of a new state of Gorkhaland, to be carved out of parts of northern Bengal, Tamang had all along maintained a distinct identity of the ABGL and consistently opposed the GJM, which has been spearheading the statehood agitation for the last couple of years.
The GJM was cut up with Tamang after he levelled corruption charges against its chief Gurung and threatened to banish him from the hills.
Securitymen guarding Governor M.K. Narayanan, now in Darjeeling, have also been put on high alert in view of the killing and the resultant tension.
Panic was palpable in Darjeeling town with only a handful of shops and markets opening Saturday and very few people seen on the roads. In Kurseong sub-division, most of the shops and markets were closed for the second consecutive day.
However, the situation was better in Kalimpong – where the ABGL does not have much of a base.
‘Majority of the shops are open and vehicles are plying normally,’ said Additional Superintendent of Police J. Dorji.
Vehicles were plying normally on National Highway 55, which connects the district’s plains of Siliguri with Darjeeling.
Traffic was also heavy on National Highway 31A, connecting Kalimpong with neighbouring Sikkim. ‘The CRPF have been deployed there,’ said Dorji.
GJM Youth leader mastermind of Tamang killings: cops
FROM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STAFF WRITER
Siliguri, May 22, 2010, 12:0 HRS IST (PTI): Forty-five people have been arrested in connection with the killing of All India Gorkha League President Madan Tamang even as a search is on to trace a Gorkha Janamukti Morcha youth leader, who is the alleged mastermind of the murder, police said today
“Dinesh Gurung, President of GJM yuba morcha town committee is the key planner of the killing of Tamang in Darjeeling yesterday,” Inspector General of Police (north bengal), K L Tamta said.
Police is trying to trace Gurung and a few of his associates, he said.
Besides, police patrolling had been intensified to restore confidence among the hill people, Tamta said.
Tamang was yesterday stabbed to death by unidentified men during clashes by rival Gorkha groups in the hill town of Darjeeling..
Bloodstain on Gandhian claim – anybody questioned who stands to benefit the most by this ‘dastardly’ assassination ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, May 21: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri denied his party’s role in the killing of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, saying “we do not believe in the politics of violence and killings”.
But after today’s incident, the Morcha will find it increasingly difficult to shake off charges that the party indulged in violence to terrorise its political opponents in the hills as Tamang’s killing is widely being seen as the handiwork of Bimal Gurung’s outfit.
Political leaders pointed to the manner in which the Morcha had prevented the ABGL, the oldest political party in the hills, from holding meetings in Darjeeling several times in the past.
At least on three occasions in the past two years, the woman’s wing of the Morcha had forcibly occupied the podium at Chowk Bazaar, on the days the ABGL had announced its meetings there. The Morcha’s aim was to scuttle the ABGL programmes anyhow.
Even the meeting that was to be held today was originally meant to be organised on May 15 but had to be postponed to May 19 as the Morcha had called its weekend strike. But even on May 19, the Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Morcha, prevented the ABGL from carrying on with its public meeting as it announced its own rally that day. Even today’s rally was to be held at Chowk Bazaar but had to be relocated to the Clubside motor stand as the Morcha had occupied the podium there.
“It was clear that the Morcha was opposed to the ABGL holding a public meeting,” said R.B. Rai, general secretary of the CPRM and a former Darjeeling MP. “It is the same case with the other hill parties opposed to the Morcha.”
“The murder of a prominent leader from Darjeeling is a climax of the lawlessness prevailing here and has exposed how the Morcha’s claims of adhering to Gandhian philosophy are false. The murder of a prominent leader must be condemned by everyone,” said Rai.
Political leaders also pointed out that every time the Morcha had indulged in violence it had blamed it on the “spontaneous reaction of emotionally charged people” and had distanced itself from the incidents. However, few from the opposition camp are willing to believe the Morcha’s “Gandhian claims” any longer.
“My house was burnt and I have not been able to stay in Kurseong. Do they still want to talk about Gandhian philosophy? I as a people’s representative and also a member of the GNLF demand that a CBI inquiry be started to probe the death of Madan Tamang,” said Shanta Chhetri, MLA from Kurseong.
On April 23, Hijjan Thapa, president of the Morcha’s trade union from Chungthung, had blamed Morcha cadres for killing his brother Pusha Jung Thapa, for allegedly being a GNLF supporter. The Morcha had also come in for much criticism following the death of one Tikaram Chhetri, a former ward commissioner from Kalimpong last week.
MEANWHILE FROM DARJEELING
Hill murder ‘planned’ – no CBI report yet, judge-jury & executioner, trial by media, KL Tamta – why go public, speaking Bengal’s mind ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, May 22: Madan Tamang’s murder was a well-planned operation in which three places were attacked simultaneously, police said today.
Suspected Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters had allegedly launched simultaneous raids on the Clubside motor stand, where Tamang was hacked, his house on Gandhi Road, and the home of the convener of the front that has opposed the Morcha’s writ in the hills.
It was not a “spontaneous” expression of people’s rage as Morcha leader Bimal Gurung had claimed, the police said. “It was a well-thought-out plan by the Morcha to assassinate Tamang and terrorise its rivals,” said a senior police officer.
North Bengal IG K.L. Tamta had yesterday charged the Morcha with attacking Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Tamang.
Today, Tamta said “even in my wildest dreams” he had not expected Tamang to be killed in broad daylight. “In the past, the Morcha had disrupted political meetings by getting its women’s wing activists to occupy the rivals’ dais…. But this was totally unexpected.”
Last night, ABGL general secretary Laxman Pradhan lodged an FIR accusing Gurung, his wife Asha and Morcha central committee members Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Pradip Pradhan, Ramesh Allay and Binay Tamang of criminal conspiracy. He put the murder charge on six Morcha youth leaders.
Putting together the versions of various eyewitnesses, the police said at least two, if not three, groups were involved in yesterday’s attack. While Tamang was being hacked, another group went to the home-cum-hotel of Dawa Sherpa, the BJP state secretary who is also the convener of the Democratic Front, and broke windowpanes and smashed a car.
Around the same time, people armed with khukuris and rods descended on Tamang’s home on the same road, 4km from Clubside. “A group attacked our house within minutes of the attack on my father,” said Tamang’s son Sanjyog. Sherpa demanded a CBI inquiry.
The police are trying to verify the antecedents of Sangay Yolmo, 33, and Subash Tamang, 53, who were hospitalised after Madan Tamang’s personal security guard, a state police constable, opened fire. Both are under sedation.
“We will verify their role and they could even be arrested,” said Tamta. “We are conducting raids on various places but some of the attackers may have crossed over to Sikkim.”
Gurung, who had yesterday alleged that the state government and the ABGL had plotted to kill Tamang to defame the Morcha, today added the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) and Sherpa to his list.
The hills shut down today, though no bandh had been called. Residents marched with candles praying for peace.
Candle rally held at Chowrasta
FROM THE DARJEELING TIMES CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, May 22, 2010: People of Darjeeling town from all walks of life joined the ‘candle lights rally’ held at Chowrasta today, organized by citizens of Darjeeling.
The peaceful candle light rally was started from Chowrasta to Club-side, where late Madan Tamang was assassinated.
Largely local inhabitants, emotional and tearful eyes, prayers and hymns were uttered during the peaceful candle rally. More than thousands locals participated to expressed their solidarity, later the prayers was held by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus at Chowrasta and paid homage to Late Madan Tamang.
Since morning people of Darjeeling have been visiting the house of late Madan Tamang situated at Batasia and paying their last tribute.
Tension still continued in Darjeeling for the second consecutive day, people are not feeling safe, most of the shops and offices have completely shutdown, spontaneous closure observed.
Meanwhile, Inspector-general of police, North Bengal, K.L. Tamta has been stationed in Darjeeling. In a press brief here today he has assured a full security of Darjeeling, additional forces are also on demand. The searches and raids are being conducted in all possible places of Darjeeling town and adjoining areas, looking for Madan Tamang slayers.