MADAN TAMANG MURDER INVESTIGATION: ‘Madan Tamang has been assaulted… Our men have done it’ – the damming evidential blow ?!!
From the Indian Express.com
By Madhuparna Das
Posted: Thu Jul 15 2010, 00:45 hrs
On the morning of May 21, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang was killed in the heart of Darjeeling, just hours before he was scheduled to address a public meeting. This is the full transcript of the official intercepts of phone conversations between Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and their local cadres just before and after the killing.
May 20, 2010
Roshan Giri to Puran (local cadre who has been named in the FIR lodged by ABGL): Has Nickol contacted? Narbu Lama from Toong Soong will collect all the boys and come early in the morning. Tell Ramesh as well as Sarat. Madan Tamang has gathered so many people. So, tell everyone to come with lathi, otherwise ABGL will overpower us.
Naresh (local cadre) to Giri: I am coming at 4 o’clock.
Giri: All right you go. However, all should be present by 7 o’clock.
May 21, 2010
Bhanu (local cadre) to Giri: ABGL supporters are holding meeting at Club Side.
Giri: In no circumstances there should be any programme of ABGL.
Bhanu: There may be clash.
Giri: Let there be clash.
Bhanu: Governor is also here.
Giri: ABGL supporters should be dispersed.
Bhanu: What to do with GLPs? (Referring to Gorkhaland Police, a private force raised by the GJM.)
Giri: They should be in plainclothes. In no circumstances, there should be any programme of ABGL.
Bhanu: They are doing programme under police protection. Please inform Kainla. I don’t have his number.
Giri: Puran can also be informed, but (am) unable to get his line as it is switched off.
Naresh to Giri: We are also gathering. They (ABGL supporters) are also in large number. They are carrying khukri with police protection. They (ABGL) are 100-150 in number at the venue and other places like hotel line etc. They (ABGL) are with sword and khukri. We are less in number. What to do?
Giri: You just wait until you are assembled.
Naresh: They are with swords, and at Club Stand they have already fitted mike.
Giri: How many police persons are there?
Naresh: There are so many.
Giri: We should talk to the DM as they are carrying khukris and swords openly. Do our men have lathis?
Naresh: We also have some weapons. What to do?
Giri: Just wait for a while.
Kismat (local cadre) to Giri: We are about to go to Kalimpong as Bimal daju had called us, we should reach there by 10 am.
Giri: In Darjeeling we are less in strength, please look for it.
Kismat: I am here and ABGL supporters are 20-25 in number. Our supporters are less. Please send them to the spot.
Giri: Our men should assemble from all sides and make chaos at the venue.
Kismat: I and Keshab are here. They (ABGL) are staring at us. They also have weapons with them. How can there be a programme at Club Side?
Giri: They have come since 4 am. I will talk to Raju Pradhan regarding this.
Giri to Puran: Go lodge a complaint in thana that the ABGL was threatening, their supporters being equipped with arms.
Naresh to Giri: We have assembled in Chowrasta and are planning to move towards Club Side.
Naresh to Giri: We are going down from Chowrasta. Only 50 to 60 ABGL supporters have gathered near the venue.
Giri: Be alert. Has Nickol come?
Naresh: Yes Nickol has come.
Naresh to Giri: Madan Tamang has been attacked. All other (ABGL) supporters fled away, but Madan Tamang and his bodyguard are present at the spot. Madan Tamang fell down. After that, firing started and our supporters are injured.
Giri: You move away from that place. In which part of the body did Madan receive injury?
Naresh: Madan Tamang received injury on his head. The chap hit him twice. I tried to catch hold of his bodyguard.
Giri: Leave the place immediately.
Bimal Gurung to Giri: What happened?
Giri: Chaos has occurred at the meeting place of ABGL and Madan Tamang has been assaulted.
Gurung: Who has done it?
Giri: Our men have done it.
Gurung: Is there any firing?
Gurung: Make arrangements to assemble our men.
Giri: We already had 500-600 supporters. But they fled from the spot during firing. Madan Tamang was hit twice on his head and he fell down.
Gurung: I heard that Madan received bullet injury.
Giri: But Naresh told me that Madan was hit twice, and even our supporters received injury.
Gurung: Mobilise our Nari Morcha, and organise blockades at various places.
Kismat to Giri: Our men have also received injury. I, Alok and others have left the place (and are going) towards Singamari. Police as well as other men opened fire.
Naresh to Giri: We were more in number. We dispersed ABGL supporters, but Madan Tamang and his bodyguard did not leave the place. So he was assaulted.
Giri: Is he severely hurt?
Naresh: Two persons assaulted him. Then firing started. Only Nickol and I were there, and we also left. Nickol went to Singamari. Shall I come to you? If you want, I will change my clothes and come. Otherwise, I will send security for you.
Naresh to Giri: If Madan Tamang becomes conscious, he will identify me.
Giri: Then don’t come.
Naresh: I am sending a security guard. Madan Tamang is severely hurt. But I am not sure whether he was hit by a lathi or any weapon.
Kismat to Giri: I, Alok and Nickol were the main persons (who) remained at the spot. Now we are going towards Patlebas (Bimal Gurung’s home is there)… Our men have also received injury.
Giri: How severe is the injury?
Kismat: He is severely injured. One of them, who assaulted him (Madan Tamang) is with us.
Kismat to Giri: A good number of unidentified persons from Nepal assembled at the spot. (There were) 60 to 70 rounds of firing. You should talk to the administration regarding the accumulation of arms at a party meeting. Thanks that we are able to hit Madan Tamang. There were so many unidentified persons, but they were able to hit Madan Tamang. I heard that he is dead.
Giri: I am not sure.
Kismat: The assault was very severe. Kainla, the person who accompanies Daju, hacked him.
Naresh to Giri: How many of our men are injured?
Giri: One Sangay of Lebong is injured.
Naresh: I heard that Madan Tamang has been shifted to Siliguri.
Nickol to Giri: The cellphone which was lost during the incident was in the name of Samir Dilawar. So Samir should be sent to the police station for lodging a missing diary.
Seen as the moderate voice of the Opposition, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang was instrumental in bringing together the non-GJM parties under the common banner of the “Democratic Front”. For the first time since the GJM was formed, there were spontaneous public protests against the party. On Monday, the Democratic Front held its first public rally since Tamang’s death.
While the FIR filed in the case names GJM cadres like Puran (mentioned in the phone conversation), Dinesh Gurung, Tenzin Khambase, Alok Kanti Moni Phulung, E Pokhrel and others, the party has denied any involvement in the murder. It has instead accused the state administration of hatching a conspiracy to derail the Gorkhaland movement. All those named in the FIR are absconding at present.
When asked about the phone intercepts, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said: “The West Bengal government is trying to frame us. They want to destabilise the movement for Gorkhaland. None of the GJM cadres are involved.”
Meanwhile, the tripartite talks between the GJM, Centre and state government have been suspended indefinitely following Tamang’s murder.
‘Govt sitting on evidence’
Within 24 hours of the murder, the transcript was reportedly sent to West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Governor M K Narayanan. Senior police officials admitted they had “got several concrete evidence” against top GJM leaders, but the government is “sitting on the evidence”.
“We have got telephone records of Roshan Giri and Bimal Gurung which clearly expose how the conspiracy was hatched and the murder was executed. The transcripts were sent to the Chief Minister, the Governor and the DGP on May 22. After sending those transcripts, we asked for permission to pick up those leaders. But even after one-and-a-half months, we are yet to get any response from the government,” they said.
“The names of the senior GJM leaders are mentioned in the FIR as ‘conspirators’. We are collecting evidence against the accused at present and then we will see in which way the case will proceed.”
Bhupinder Singh, DGP
“As of now, only nine people have been arrested. However, none of them has been named in the FIR. All the seven people who executed the murder plot and who are directly linked with the murder are absconding. And we are yet to interrogate the senior leaders of the GJM, who seem to have direct and indirect complicity in the murder case.”
K L Tamta
IG, North Bengal, who was principal investigator in the case… (incomplete)
– One wonders, who unlocked this expose so late in the game and for what reason, now ?!!