TAMANG MURDER INVESTIGATION: CID zeroes in on Tamang killer – should put to rest unilaterally all speculation, manhunt begins ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Calcutta, June 8: Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was hacked to death in public in line with a plot executed by as many as 60 people, according to investigations that have narrowed down to two the number of suspects who might have delivered the killer blow.
The probe by the CID has also found that five people had formed the core group of attackers that silenced the prominent opposition voice on May 21 near Planter’s Club in Darjeeling.
Officers also spoke of a “mastermind” but refused to name any suspect, citing the extremely sensitive nature of the case.
The findings strike at the root of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s claims that the daylight murder was the result of a spontaneous outburst of emotions by common people who wanted Gorkhaland.
The Morcha leadership has rubbished the probe, carried out on the basis of an FIR that names some party functionaries.
As president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), Tamang was one of the few voices that had challenged the Morcha writ in the hills and occasionally reminded its chief Bimal Gurung that he had failed to deliver the promised Gorkhaland.
CID officers said Dinesh Gurung and Naresh Thang had been entrusted with the task of killing Tamang. Both had apparently hidden sharp weapons under their clothes. “We are yet to determine which one of the two, Dinesh or Naresh, actually stabbed Tamang from behind,” a CID officer said.
The name of Dinesh, a Darjeeling town committee member of the Morcha, had been mentioned in the FIR filed by an ABGL leader. But this is the first time Naresh’s name is cropping up. Sources in Darjeeling said they had not heard of the person before.
According to CID sources, at least 60 people were involved in the plot. “These men had been asked to spread out in the area where the incident took place. They were roaming there pretending to be pedestrians or residents hanging around.
Their job was to provide the five, who had been asked to execute Tamang, a safe passage after the completion of the operation by creating confusion. They rushed towards the spot where Tamang was making arrangements for a rally and shouted Gorkha war cries,” said a CID source.
The officer said the five were supposed to get close to Tamang. “While Dinesh and Naresh were supposed to attack Tamang, the three others were asked to protect them,” he added.
P. Neerajnayan, inspector-general (I), CID, said the agency had specific information about those who had attacked Tamang. “They are absconding and our officers are camping in Darjeeling to collect more information and arrest them.”
Another CID officer said the conspirators appeared to have been taken aback by the retaliation by Tamang’s bodyguard. “Seven rounds were fired during the attack. The policeman guarding Tamang managed to fire five rounds from his revolver and two other armed policemen at the spot fired a round each,” the officer said.
Three men were injured when Tamang’s bodyguard fired. Two of them, Subash Tamang and Prashant Chhetri, have been arrested and sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy.
The other injured man, Sangey Yolmo, is in a Siliguri nursing home. The CID is interrogating Suresh Raimaji, a contractor from Darjeeling who was arrested on June 3.
The CID had earlier said that Morcha central committee member Nickol Tamang was at the murder scene. His phone was found close to where Tamang had been attacked.
Addressing a gathering of students at the Mall in Darjeeling this afternoon, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said the police were hatching a conspiracy to malign his party. “A conspiracy is being hatched to derail the movement for Gorkhaland,” he said.