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Morcha in damage control mode called massive public meeting on June 7

GJMM massive public meeting in Darjeeling motor stand
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party is in damage control mode and has sent its senior leaders to Delhi and Kolkata for legal consultation after the CBI on Friday named 23 party president Bimal Gurung and 22 other leaders, in their charge sheet in the Madan Tamang murder case.

On Sunday, the GJM announced a public meeting on June 7 in Darjeeling, to pacify party supporters and talk about the implications of the charge-sheet filed by the Central agency. “We will hold a massive public meeting on June 7 where our 20 frontal organizations and units from the Terai and Dooars will participate,” said Binay Tamang, the GJM assistant secretary

Meanwhile, murdered All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader Madan Tamang’s widow Bharati Tamang has mounted pressure, demanding custodial interrogation of the accused. On Saturday, expressing happiness with the CBI filing its final charge sheet naming top rung Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders and hoped that justice would finally prevail, after a long wait.
Darjeeling MLA Trilok Kumar Dewan and municipality chairman Amar Singh Rai and Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma and civic chief Samirdeep Blon have been sent to Delhi. Similarly, P.T.Ola and Tilak Chandra Roka have been sent to Kolkata to seek legal opinion.
Sources within the party said, “The party is keeping all options including legal ones in the aftermath of the CBI charge sheet. In fact, the leadership is already in touch with the BJP in Delhi and seeking their advice”. The BJP is the GJM’s political ally. The GJM helped the saffron party to win the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.
The All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader was hacked to death in broad daylight on May 21, 2010 in the heart of the town in Darjeeling while overseeing preparation for a public meeting on that fateful day..
Asked about the agenda for the public meeting, Tamang said, “We will disclose the issue on the day of the public meeting. However, looking at the present situation, we appeal to the people to maintain peace”.
The GJM assistant secretary, who has also been named by the CBI in its charge-sheet refused to elaborate on the development. “All those named in the charge-sheet are innocent. Let the law take its own course. We believe in the judiciary but want an impartial investigation,” Tamang said.
Besides, Gurung and Tamang, the CBI has named GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and 20 others including Gurung’s wife Asha Gurung, who is the party’s Nari Morcha, chief. The list also includes seven GJM women workers and leaders. The CBI has also named Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Sabha chairman Bhupendra Pradhan, GTA deputy chief executive Col  Ramesh Allay(Retd) and Devendra Sharma a senior party leader.

"Me, wife Asha, party MLA Harkabahadur Chettri and all others in the Morcha are innocent and we are victims of a conspiracy," GJM president Bimal Gurung told a hastily-called press conference on Saturday.
The GJM leader, who refrained from elaborating on the conspiracy, said: "We have faith in the judicial system and let the truth come out about the murder."
One of the prime accused Nicole Tamang, a central committee leader, who was arrested on August 16, 2010 managed to escape from Pintail Village near Siliguri on August 22 while being questioned by CID, a state agency.

Pema Tamang, wife of Nicole, had moved a habeas corpus before the Calcutta High Court saying that her husband be traced. The High Court had then directed the CBI to take up the Madan Tamang murder case and the Nicole Tamang disappearance case.
In 2011, the CBI on the direction of the Supreme Court took over the probe and in its supplementary charge sheet added the name of Dipen Malay, a GTA Sabhasad from the Pokhriabong-Chamung constituency.

Tamang also questioned the timing of the charge-sheet saying it smacked of conspiracy. “When we are nearing our goal of a separate state, this (charge sheet) happened,” he said.
Interestingly, the GJM has organized a week long “chandi puja” from May 30 to June 5, to attain strength which coincides with the CBI charge-sheet. “The puja is for ‘shakti’. It will also help cleanse our mind and destroy enemies,” Tamang said without specifying further.

“Naming senior GJM leaders in the AIGL president’s murder is a deep political conspiracy. However, we are confident that truth will ultimately prevail and the GJM leaders who have been framed will be proved innocent. We have full faith in the judiciary system,” Jyoti Kumar Rai, GJM assistant secretary issued a press statement, said after a meeting on Saturday.

“I am very happy that the CBI has filed its charge sheet. The agency is doing its duty. Now, I feel we will finally get justice,” said Bharati Tamang, widow of the murdered AIGL leader, on Saturday. “We are continuing our fight for justice even though the murder took place five years ago. My husband’s murder was the assassination of democracy, therefore justice must be given,” Bharati said.

The CID had first taken up the Madan Tamang murder case and had submitted a charge sheet figuring names of 30 GJM leaders and activists, including that of Nicole Tamang. “The murder is an open book and everyone knows who did it. All I want is that the culprits/accused be arrested and punished,” said Bharati.
All those named in the state and central agency’s charge-sheet are presently out on bail and two including Nicole are absconding while one accused Dil Kumar Rai was found dead in his home on December 28, 2011.
Govind Chhetri of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) party welcoming the development said the matter should not be politicized. “It is like the case of better late than never. We believe in our court and hope that it will give the correct judgment without prejudice,” he said. (With PTI inputs)

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