GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Numb-hills threat to rivals’ return bid Enough proof for arrests: ABGL – but will Bengal and the Centre only listen to their own ‘conspiracy complicity’ when those directly involved are absconding ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, July 16: The ABGL has said there is enough proof to put behind bars those responsible for the assassination of its leader Madan Tamang.
Bharati Tamang, the president of the ABGL and the widow of the slain leader, said today: “There is now enough evidence to prove who killed my husband. I have written to the chief minister to immediately start arresting the culprits involved in the murder. I am confident that the chief minister will live up to the assurance he has given to me when I visited him in Calcutta recently.”
She said recent media reports were enough evidence to arrest the murderers.
Even though Bharati did not name any individual, she hinted that the top brass of the Morcha who had been named in the FIR should be rounded up immediately. “They should be made to undergo narco-analysis test to find out the truth,” she said.
The ABGL had named Morcha president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and media and publicity secretary Harka Bahadur Chhetri as conspirators in the FIR.
Tamang had been hacked to death by a khukuri-wielding mob at Clubside Motorstand in Darjeeling on May 21, hours before he was to address a public meeting in the town.
Supporters of the ABGL today demonstrated in front of Darjeeling Sadar police station to press for the arrest. “We will carry on with the protest until the police make arrests. I have faith in the chief minister but if justice is denied, we will even start an indefinite hunger strike and I, too, will participate in it,” said Bharati.
The ABGL is determined to keep the memory of Tamang alive and has started distributing CDs of his speeches. Madan was one of the best orators in the hills.
A statue of Tamang will also be installed at the site of the murder soon, said party sources.
A recently formed Darjeeling Terai Dooars Gorkha-Adivasi Welfare Society, affiliated to the ABGL, has also decided to put up hoardings across Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong with images of the attack. One of the hoardings carry a picture — published in The Telegraph — showing a policeman fleeing the crime scene.
Pravin Gurung, general secretary of the society, said: “We have also come up with a pamphlet on the murder and it has a picture of Madan Tamang. This is part of our effort to make the people conscious of the loss we have incurred by his death and it is also a way to pay tribute to a leader like Tamang.”
ABGL urges prompt arrest of Tamang murderers – but will Bengal act after sitting on evidence for so long, thereby becoming co-conspirators ?!!
From The Statesman
DARJEELING, 16 JULY: Intensifying pressure on the state government, the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League today demanded that the eminent GJMM leaders against whom there are strong evidences should be promptly arrested in connection with the Madan Tamang murder case. The AIGL leader was murdered near the Clubside motor stand in Darjeeling on 21 May.
The party president, Mrs Bharati Tamang today said in Darjeeling that her party would not rest till justice was done. “We have written to the chief minister, seeking justice at the earliest. Since, according to the state government claim, the murder mystery has now been solved and strong evidences have come up against some eminent Morcha leaders, the government should take prompt action,” she said.
She also threatened fasting agitation if the state government did not act fast on the matter. “We would continue blocking the police stations and, if necessary, would fast unto death if the state government keeps dithering regarding bringing the accused to justice.
Kowtowing to the GJMM pressure would land the Darjeeling hills in far deeper chaos,” she warned. Meanwhile, the party organized a ‘Thana Gheraoe’ programme today in Darjeeling, demanding arrest of all the accused in the assassination case. The response to the programme in what is considered to be the GJMM redoubt has apparently enthused the AIGL activists. SNS
CPM minister gets to enter Darjeeling hills – All Bengal Gorkha League ?!! a ‘deliberate’ Bengal blunder ?!!
From The Indian Express
Vernacular dailies splash Express story on Gurung’s phone talks with GJM men
Sat Jul 17 2010, 03:41 hrs (ENS): The demand for action against the killers of All India Gorkha League President Madan Tamang became stronger on Friday with West Bengal Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya and several other politicians making the demand.
Speaking to The Indian Express from his Siliguri residence, Bhattacharya said, “The telephonic conversation between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri etc and the killers of Madan Tamang that was reported by The Indian Express clearly shows who are behind the heinous crime and I demand their arrest.”
During the day, Bhattacharya visited the CPM party offices in the hills, something unthinkable even six months ago. The minister went to Kurseong to attend a party meeting, which was attended by a good number of CPM activists.
Meanwhile, All Bengal Gorkha League (ABGL) (*?!!) supporters gheraoed Darjeeling police station and later took out rallies demanding the arrest of Gurung and those of his associates involved in the Tamang murder. The ABGL is planing a bigger movement soon, said its Darjeeling Town Committee General Secretary Mohan Sharma.
On Friday several Bengali, Hindi and Nepali regional papers reprinted the story on the telephonic conversation that was first carried by The Indian Express on Thursday. “Your story has created a stir both in the plains and the hills. People have now understood who the real culprits are,” Bhattacharya told The Indian Express.
The government, however, has chosen to tread cautiously on the issue. “The issue is very sentisitive and any wrong move on our part will tilt the balance against the government. The Chief Minister is aware of the whole thing and is keeping a watch,” a senior state government official told The Indian Express.
Other leaders from Siliguri also joined the chorus in demanding the arrest of the Morcha’s top leadership. “The Indian Express has unmasked the top Morcha leaders. We demad a CBI inquiry into the whole incident,” Gautam Dev, leader of the Trinamool Congress councillors in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, said on Friday.
Shankar Malakar, a Congress leader of Siliguri, too demanded the arrest of the senior Morcha leaders. “The telephonic conversation proves beyond doubt that Gurung, Giri and some of the other GJM leaders were involved in Madan Tamang’s murder. They should be arrested immediately,” Malakar said on Friday.
The Morcha leadership, on its part, is still trying to float a conspiracy theory. “It’s all an attempt of the state government to malign us,” Roshan Giri said in Darjeeling on Friday.
Asok warning on civic disruptions – basic services in whose hands, CPM or the Morcha ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, July 16: The four municipalities in the hills could not carry out their basic services because of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s agitation, the urban development minister today alleged while cautioning the hill party against disrupting civic activities.
“Pahare 10 per cent manusher dadagiri aar cholbe na (the highhandedness of only 10 per cent of people in the hills will not be tolerated any more),” Asok Bhattacharya said. “It is not the CPM but the people in general in the hills who have been opposing the atrocities of the Morcha.”
Bhattacharya quoted the chief minister as saying in the Assembly yesterday that whoever was responsible or involved in the murder of Madan Tamang would not be spared. “Given the information available about the accused in the case, the Morcha leaders must take note of it and refrain from issuing threats or intimidating people.”
This morning, the minister held a meeting with officials of the Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and the Mirik municipalities in Kurseong.
“We have sanctioned a Rs 12-crore sewerage project for Kurseong, of which Rs 3 crore has been disbursed. But the money could not be spent because of the Morcha agitation. The officials are eager to implement the pending schemes but cannot do so because of the Morcha agitation,” the minister said. “Even basic civic services like collection of wastes and water supply have been affected. We have told the officials to ask the employees to join duty and do their jobs.”
After returning here from Kurseong, the minister reviewed the progress of different civic schemes in Siliguri with mayor Gangotri Datta and her deputy Nantu Paul.
During the meeting, about 100 residents of Ward 1 of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, demonstrated, alleging that more than 20 families, whose houses were demolished to build the approach road of the under-construction flyover in Siliguri Junction, were yet to receive any compensation.
CM meet sought – 6th Schedule Status in the hands of Bengal or the Centre, the Ghising misadventure to be repeated ?!!
The state president of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, Birsa Tirkey, today sought an appointment with Bengal chief minister to discuss the demand for Sixth Schedule status for the Dooars and the Terai.
“When we raised the issue of Sixth Schedule on July 1, the chief secretary said it was beyond the purview of his authority. So, we sought a meeting with the chief minister,” Tirkey said over the phone from Calcutta.
Morcha protests GNLF security – madan murder justice cry outside police station – pushing threats into reality, is Bengal, by proxy bullying delays ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, July 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today threatened to “paralyse” the hills if the district administration helped GNLF leaders accused in the Pramila Sharma murder case come back home.
The Morcha’s decision comes after three GNLF leaders — Aitaraj Dewan, Tika Khati and Jigme Sherpa — wrote to the district administration, expressing their desire to return to the hills. Barring Sherpa, the others had been arrested with 12 GNLF members on the charges of killing Sharma. They were later released on bail and the duo had been staying in Siliguri since then. Sherpa, too, had been forced to shift to the plains.
“As it is, we have announced bandhs from the end of this month, which we will intensify in August,” a Morcha leader said today. “But if these people are provided with security to enable them to come up to the hills, we will paralyse the entire place with more agitation.
“How can the district administration provide security to people arrested for the murder of Pramila Sharma? We will start a democratic agitation, involving only the Nari Morcha, if they return to the hills,” said a Morcha leader. “We will ensure that the hills are paralysed even on the days outside the purview of the bandhs already announced.”
A number of GNLF leaders, including Subash Ghisingh, had been hounded out of the hills after Sharma was killed on June 25, 2008, by a bullet allegedly fired from the house of the party’s Darjeeling branch committee president Deepak Gurung. Gurung, too, had been arrested but is now out on bail.
The three GNLF leaders wrote to the district administration expressing their desire to return to the hills after former GNLF branch president Dawa Pakhrin came back to his house in Kalimpong last week.
Pakhrin had approached the National Human Rights Commission, which had directed the state’s chief secretary and the director-general of police to ensure that “all the affected people could return home”.
Pakhrin, however, is not an accused in the Sharma murder case.
“Since the NHRC has issued a clear direction that all the affected people should be allowed to return home, we are duty bound to provide them with security as and when they decide to come back,” Darjeeling district magistrate Surendra Gupta had said after receiving the letter from the trio.
The Morcha leader also said: “We want all the accused in the Pramila Sharma case to return to the jails in Darjeeling. The people will not accept them roaming around free on the streets of Darjeeling.”
Given the Morcha’s stand, the hills could witness further uncertainty and chaos if the three GNLF leaders return to the hills. Morcha president Bimal Gurung has already threatened to call a series of strikes which are expected to culminate in a 40-day general strike from August 4, if the Centre fails to call a tripartite meeting by the month end.
Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri today lashed out at the state government for trying to derail the statehood movement.
“The state government is defaming the Morcha by alleging its involvement in the killing of Madan Tamang with the motive of derailing the Gorkhaland agitation. We will, however, not let this happen and the hill people are aware of the government’s motives,” said Chhetri. “If the state is sincere about investigating the death of Madan Tamang, why is it hesitating to hand over the case to the CBI as we have been demanding?”
Since Tamang’s murder in May, the party has been on the backfoot in the hills. Under the circumstances, the government is trying to gain its lost toehold by its carrot-and-stick policy. While it announced a stream of development measures for the hills, DGHC administrator B.L. Meena filed FIRs against Morcha’s lathi-wielding squad for occupying the council’s properties. Morcha bete noire and minister Asok Bhattacharya, too, visited the hills twice since Tamang’s murder.