Special Correspondent

Demands CBI inquiry into murder of Madan Tamang

Bimal Gurung firm on a separate ‘Gorkhaland'

Tamang's widow meets Governor Narayanan

KOLKATA: In a bid to re-establish the political credibility of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) that has suffered in the wake of the public outcry over the murder of Madan Tamang on May 21 in which some activists of the party are suspected have been involved, its president Bimal Gurung returned to Darjeeling amid demonstrations and protests on Tuesday.

As his convoy approached Ghoom from Kalimpong, people shouted slogans against Mr. Gurung and his close associates and refused to allow his vehicle to pass by.

The police who were deployed in large numbers had a trying time keeping at bay the demonstrators who accused the GJM of being responsible for the murder of Madan Tamang.

However, Mr Gurung's return to the hill town seemed to have instilled some sense of confidence among his supporters who have been lying low since the killing. They comprised a substantial segment of the congregation that gathered at the lower motor stand to listen to Mr Gurung who addressed them in a brief rally on reaching the hill town.

Denying any GJM hand in the killing of Mr. Tamang, he charged the State Government with conspiring in the murder and of shifting the blame on his party in order to discredit it. He demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the murder.

The GJM president reiterated the demand for a separate “Gorkhaland” state and vowed that the movement for it would continue. He warned that his party workers would retaliate if attacked and asserted that the GJM continued to enjoy the support of the majority of the local people.

Questions were raised within the non-GJM Democratic Front of which Madan Tamang was a leader on how the GJM rally was allowed even though prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr P C were in force in the town.

Two companies of Central paramilitary forces were sent to the hill town to supplement the existing forces of the State Police, according to Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh.

The hill town remained tense through the day. Mr. Tamang's widow called on Governor M. K. Narayanan and sought a thorough investigation by the administration into the murder and arrests of those responsible for it.

Speaking on the recent developments in Darjeeling, Biman Bose, Chairman of the Left Front Committee, said the State administration should take stern measures against those named in the FIR (lodged by the general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League). Among those whose names are mentioned are Mr. Gurung, his wife and GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.

Claiming that the recent events in Darjeeling indicated that the GJM had lost the people's mandate, Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya, who hails from Darjeeling district, said here that under the circumstances there was little point in continuing with the tripartite talks for resolving the impasse in the hills .