MADAN TAMANG MURDER INVESTIGATION: CM promises hill murder arrests – how, when the finger of suspicion falls primarily on the ruling party itself, considering the larger picture of the ‘timing and present derailment’ of the sensitive ‘Territory Issue’ and the ‘Separate Statehood Cause’ of the Gorkhas and the Adivasis ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
June 23: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today assured Bharati Tamang her husband Madan Tamang’s killers would be arrested “very soon” and, if the CID failed to do so, he would consider handing over the case to the CBI. (after tampering with all the evidence and the promotion and transfer of key witness KL Tamta, as well as escape of the actual killers ?!!)
A team of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), headed by Bharati since her husband’s death, came to Writers’ Buildings today.
“We demanded the immediate arrest of the main accused in our leader’s assassination. Most of those named in the FIR have not been held yet. Hence, we are asking for the CBI’s intervention,” said their adviser S.B. Zimba.
Tamang was murdered in Darjeeling on May 21. The ABGL had named 11 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders in the FIR. Zimba said the chief minister had promised immediate arrest of the main accused. “We trust him and are willing to wait.”
Although the visiting team returned “satisfied with the chief minister’s assurances”, leaders of the other Morcha rivals in the hills expressed their doubts about the government’s “sincerity” in acting against alleged Morcha activists. Dawa Sherpa, the convener of the Democratic Front, of which the ABGL is a partner, had recently said: “The killers are moving around but no one is doing anything.”
Several other hill leaders also feel “the government does not want to provoke the situation by arresting them”.
The police, who have made some arrests, say most of those named in the FIR as being directly involved in the crime have fled to Nepal. India does not have an extradition treaty with the kingdom and the Bengal police have not got in touch with Interpol to locate them.
The ABGL also complained to the chief minister about the Morcha’s “terror tactics”. “We requested the chief minister to put an end to the torture and anarchy of the Gorkhaland Personnel (the lathi-wielding Morcha volunteers),” Zimba said. “The chief minister said work on that had begun.”
Morcha tough talk – continuously egging the Morcha, quite Statesmanlike ?!!
The Morcha vowed to enforce its bandh more vigorously once it resumed on Friday, striking a firm note after easing the shutdown for 48 hours.
Not to be seen as buckling under pressure after pulling out its volunteers from five government buildings and relaxing the strike, Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang said: “We have decided to strictly enforce the strike from Friday. We expect all tourists to leave the hills by tomorrow evening and we will no longer keep the helplines open.”
The helplines had been opened for stranded tourists. Tamang said: “We will only allow people with emergency work to move.”