TAMANG MURDER INVESTIGATION: Most of the killers identified, says top cop – Challenge to Morcha, second in seven days

TAMANG MURDER INVESTIGATION: Most of the killers identified, says top cop – Challenge to Morcha, second in seven days now openly politicking for ABGL, ‘divide and rule’ the Gorkha population at any cost ?!!

"Blood on the streets in Darjeeling" - Police force at Clubside motor stand after Tamang was killed on May 21, 2010 - shocked, bewildered and perplexed (Photo from The Telegraph)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

(Syntax remixed for clarity and purpose)

June 9: The state’s top cop today said most of those involved in Madan Tamang’s assasination have been identified.

The Telegraph had in today’s edition reported how Tamang was hacked to death in line with a plot hatched by 60 persons and the CID probe that had narrowed down to two the number of suspects who might have delivered the killer blow.

“We have been able to identify most of the assassins. I cannot divulge their identities as it would compromise the investigation,” said director-general of police Bhupinder Singh at Writers’ Buildings this evening.

The Madan Tamang Memorial, just 'one car park spot' wide - a fitting legacy ?!!

According to Singh, the CID investigating the ABGL chief’s murder would ask Interpol to issue red corner notice against some of the accused who had fled to Nepal. The red corner notice allows police of any country to arrest criminals who have committed a crime in another country.

Bengal’s top cop said it could not be said with certainty yet whether those identified as Tamang’s assassins were Morcha activists.

The police have sent a video footage of Tamang’s assassination uploaded on Youtube to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Hyderabad. The website authorities will be asked for details of the person who uploaded the footage.

The incomplete YouTube evidence - the police on the spot saw nothing ?!!

“The identity of the person who uploaded the video would help in the investigation. That person was obviously there at the spot and was witness to everything that went on during the incident,” said Singh.

The CID, which is investigating the murder, had revealed that as many as 60 persons were involved in the conspiracy to kill Tamang. The plot was hatched a month before the murder and the agency had zeroed in on two persons who were part of a five-member group of killers.

One of them is Dinesh Gurung, a Darjeeling town committee member of the Morcha, whose name had figured in an FIR filed by an ABGL leader.

AND SO

The police claim comes on a day the slain leader’s outfit, the ABGL, announced it’s intention to hold a meeting at the murder spot on Friday to push ahead with its campaign against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

In Darjeeling, the ABGL said it would hold the public meeting on Friday at the Clubside motor stand where Tamang was murdered last month, indicating the party’s determination to remain the most vocal opposition force in the hills.

Laxman Pradhan, ABGL Secretary - names 13 persons including GJM President Bimal Gurung in his FIR ?!!

The rally will be held close on the heels of an ABGL demonstration in front of Darjeeling police station on Monday, a move that was more symbolic of opposition parties regrouping themselves than any show of numerical strength. “We will not be browbeaten into stopping our political activities,” said Laxman Pradhan, the district secretary of the ABGL, at a media conference. “We want the arrest of Madan Tamang’s killers who are all Morcha men.”

After the Friday meeting, the ABGL supporters will take out a procession through town that will culminate at Darjeeling sadar police station where they will demand the arrest of Tamang’s killers.

On Monday, too, the ABGL supporters had gheraoed the police station on the same demand and made it clear that it would carry on with its activities despite Tamang’s death.

The ABGL has also voiced its opposition to the next round of scheduled tripartite meeting on the interim set-up in the hills, saying that the talks would be “meaningless” until peace and democracy are restored.

Tamang’s party is likely to write to the Centre expressing its opinion. It will also demand an all-party meeting to discuss the “prevailing situation” in the Darjeeling hills. “Holding tripartite talks would be meaningless until peace and democracy are restored in the hills. We will write to the Centre demanding an all-party meeting to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills,” said Pradhan.

After Tamang was hacked to death on May 21 just before he was to address a public meeting, not only the ABGL, but other opposition parties in the hills also had said the priority was to restore democracy and maintain peace. “Before the talks are held, those accused in the murder of our leader, along with the masterminds, should be arrested,” said Pradhan.

The Morcha with whom the Centre and the state are holding the talks, has been saying that the prerogative of holding the tripartite meeting lay with the Union government and not with the state.

The ABGL has also announced that it is against schoolchildren participating in political parties.

“Students are being told to attend rallies called by political parties. This must come to an end and we will write to the various heads of schools, appealing them to stop sending children to political meetings.

Even the Supreme Court has issued a directive against school students attending political meetings,” said Pradhan.

ANALYSIS: Murder of Tamang in Darjeeling, Who planned it ? Needle of suspicion points to ruling party and the main point missed, the timing of the “territory talks” issue – and the usual CPM “style” of first using a hail of stones ?!!

Asok Bhattacharya paying tribute to Madan Tamang in Darjeeling - making a timely political statement ?!!

FROM THE ORGANISER

BY ASIM KUMAR MITRA

MADAN Tamang was hacked to death on May 21, 2010, at the Upper Club side in Darjeeling Town. Tamang was a revered Gorkha leader of Darjeeling. He was president of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) which was established long back in 1943 and it was obvious in its selection of name that this party was not a separatist party.

Till today this party is fighting for the democratic rights of Hill people. At the same time, they want to maintain their identity without dissociating themselves from the mainland.

Why should a leader of his stature be killed for propagating such a lofty ideology? But it happened in the open daylight on a crowded roadside in front of so many people.

People and Police are the first to run after the assassination of Madan Tamang - highly plausible or strangely curious ?!!

Curiously, it was noted in a newspaper reporting that when the killers were approaching the spot with open swords, daggers, khukris, bhojalis etc in their hands, the security guards, who were posted there, disappeared or it can be said that they were vanished in no time. This is really mysterious.

Harka Bahadur Chhetri, spokesperson of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM, headed by Bimal Gurung) had alleged that “The state government’s hand in the murder is clear. There were security lapses at the venue. It was the duty of the government to ensure the security. Now that Tamang is no more, they are indulging in politics over his death”.

Chhetri further alleged that the CPI (M) with the help of the state government has heightened its political activity in the Hills. “They are trying to send the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supporters and leaders (presently camping in Siliguri) back to Hills to create disturbances. They (CPM) themselves are trying to regain a foothold here by using the Democratic Front”.

In fact for the last three years the CPI(M) had been banished from the Hills. The last time the CPI(M) suffered a big political setback was in November 2007 when the party was forced to change the venue of its Darjeeling district conference from Darjeeling to Siliguri after a massive protest against the proposed Sixth Schedule status for the Hills.

Since then, the CPI(M) was unable to organise any programme in Hills and the number of its members from the Hills reduced drastically. CPI(M) leaders from the plains never visited the Hills with only one exception. That was during the Parliamentary election in 2009 when state Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya visited Darjeeling for filing the Nomination Paper of their candidate Jibesh Sarkar.

This alienation from the Hill politics had a frustrating effect on the party workers. They were in search of an opportunity through which they could enter into the Hills. Hence there is every possibility of CPI(M)’s involvement in the conspiracy of killing a gentleman-politician like Madan Tamang.

In this connection, one should not lose one’s attention of two/three developments which were very significant.

Those developments were:

(1) After the brutal killing of Madan Tamang, CPI(M) did not spare a moment to declare that GJM was responsible for this murder.

(2) They (CPM) had instigated the supporters of ABGL to attack the houses of GJM leaders and prominent supporters. In this process the house of BJP leader Dawa Sherpa was also set on fire.

(3) The state government run by the CPI(M)-led Left Front had immediately declared that the state CID would enquire into the matter. People have no faith in the role of state CID as time and again it has been proved that they have ceased to work independently. So the counter demand has been put forward by the supporters of Madan Tamang that instead of CID, CBI should enquire into the matter.

(4) All these were done by them (CPM) to give an impression that these were spontaneous reactions of the people. Spontaneity was, of course, there but the CPI(M) wanted to use the situation to their advantage but it seems that it would not be possible at this stage.

Similar incident

The Statue of Hemanta Kr Basu, Forward Block Bengal State Minister - strange how if you search 'Google' Images with Hemanta Basu name, all one gets are images of Jyoti Basu - zealous overkill ?!!

This was reminiscent of one incident that took place in Kolkata in late seventies when state minister Hemanta Kumar Basu of Left Front government was brutally killed on the street of Kolkata in open day light.

Hemantababu was a leader of Forward Bloc but he was revered by all. That was the time when Naxalites had created complex problems for the CPI(M). Their activities were doubted by the general mass because of continuous propaganda against them by the Naxalites.

In this connection, it should be kept in mind that till date it was not pronounced by any court of law or no authoritative source had held that the CPI(M) was responsible for this murder. But for all practical purposes people know it for sure that ‘what was what’.

This is the procedure of its operation. Therefore, one is very much provoked to find out the similarities between the two incidents.

New Turn

Now the whole Darjeeling politics has taken a completely new but complicated turn. Both CPI (M) and GJM of Bimal Gurung have started a blame game.

Primarily, the supporters of GJM were so much convinced about its involvement in the murder of Madan Tamang that at least 11 of the top ranking leaders of GJM had submitted their resignation.

But immediately after the death of Madan Tamang when Bimal Gurung entered Darjeeling, he and his colleagues had started saying that it was a handiwork of CPI(M) who wanted their foothold in Darjeeling and for that reason they had committed this crime (killed Tamang) and squarely held GJM responsible for this heinous act.

The present situation is that the CPI(M) has come all out to regain their position in the Hill area and to ensure their safe entry in the Hills they are taking help of Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF).

The State Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya, who hails from North Bengal, had number of meetings with the Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to decide their Darjeeling strategy. Now they are convinced that they would definitely make a breakthrough.

On the other hand, GJM had decided on a new strategy. In a public meeting on Sunday ( May 30, 2010) Bimal Gurung had declared that they were in favour of establishing “Gorkha-Adivasi State”.

This is a new strategy of GJM to woo the tribal people of Terai and Dooars where Gorkha population is in microscopic minority. The leaders of Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABVP) had instantly rejected this proposal of GJM.

Birsa Tirkee, President of ABVP said, “This has been a motivated act of Bimal Gurung to confuse the tribal people about their political goal. We would rather accept the status under 6th Schedule of the Constitution. We have no desire to establish a separate state dividing West Bengal”. In fact ABVP has already chalked out a programme of agitation for this.

In this case, a third voice is also coming to the fore and this voice is a sane voice of Bharati Tamang, wife of Madan who had taken over the post of ABGL’s presidentship. She had alerted their members and sympathisers to distance themselves from the enemies of democracy. She said, “I want to restore peace and democracy for which I need people’s support”.

The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) was also there by the side of Bharati and its General Secretary R B Rai said, “We will not let his (Tamang’s) sacrifice go in vain. We will not accept a separate state without democracy”.

GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) leader Dawa Pakhrin also did not lag behind in utilising the situation to give a tilt towards them. Pakhrin said, “The hand that killed Tamang also burnt down my house. An evil force has taken over the Hills. We need to unite and fight against it”.

Under these circumstances the Hill politics is going to take an altogether new shape.

(The writer was a member of Press Council of India 1998-2001)

MEANWHILE

Tamang murder: YouTube posting provides evidence – incomplete and the “actual murder scenes edited out”, totally absurd logic ?!!

Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh - How absurd can one get ?!!

FROM THE HINDU
BY INDRANI DUTTA

YouTube has provided valuable evidence in the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League president Madan Tamang murder case. The West Bengal government is in touch with the owners and administrators of the site to know the identity of the person who filmed the May 21 incident in Darjeeling from a hotel window and posted it on the site.

Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh told journalists that even as the Criminal Investigation Department got in touch with the YouTube authorities, they had decided to intimate Interpol to issue a red corner notice against some people allegedly involved in the incident and who might have taken shelter in neighbouring Nepal.

He said that pending investigations, it could not be concluded whether the culprits were from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

“The YouTube posting provides partial evidence and we have identified some people from the clippings which seem to have been taken from the window of a hotel which overlooks the place of occurrence. The angle of the film suggests a hotel window opposite the scene of the crime. Reports indicate that a French national filmed the incidents before and after the killing as the murder scene is missing,” Mr. Singh said.

The CID plans to download the entire posting pictures and send it to the Central Forensic Research Laboratory for further scrutiny.

“We are now sending an intimation to Interpol to issue red-corner notices to find out whether some people have taken shelter in Nepal,” Mr. Singh said.

Though some 12-14 people were on the spot it was still not clear whether they were from Darjeeling or outside.

He said that none of them were office-bearers of the GJM.  “We cannot say whether the GJM had a hand in this incident until investigations are completed.”

Madan Tamang was stabbed to death in broad daylight on May 21 in Darjeeling even as he was making preparations along with some of his men for an ABGL rally which he was to address.

The police had already made three arrests. Among those arrested were some who had been wounded by shots fired by Tamang’s bodyguards during the attack and were admitted to a hospital. The ABGL is opposed to the GJM.

An FIR has been filed by ABGL secretary Laxman Pradhan, who had said that this was a pre-planned murder by the supporters of the youth wing and the students’ wing of the GJM.

The FIR has named 13 persons, including GJM president Bimal Gurung.

Darjeeling has remained tense since the murder though the situation is easing now. Two companies of the Central Reserve Police Force and five battalions of the State Armed Police were deployed there.

CID asks Interpol for a Red Corner

FROM INDIAN EXPRESS
By Express News Service

Kolkata, Jun 10, 2010 at 0232 hrs IST: The CID has requested Interpol to issue a Red Corner notice for 10-12 people suspected to be involved in the murder of All India Gorkha League Leader Madan Tamang and are believed to have fled to neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal, state DGP Bhupinder Singh said today. Tamang was killed as he was about to address a rally in Darjeeling on May 21.

The CID has already arrested three people in connection with the case. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Roshan Giri, however, warned the hills would be on fire if any other person is arrested.

The DGP also said the CID probe has found it was indeed a French tourist staying at a nearby hotel who shot a video of the Gorkha leader’s killing. “We are trying to find him. We will get in touch with the French Embassy. We will have to find out why he edited the portion showing the actual killing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Front comprising various outfits of Darjeeling that are opposed to the Morcha is going to hold a rally in Darjeeling on June 14. “They have asked for permission and I think it will be given,” said a Darjeeling police officer.

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