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Palpable tension in Darjeeling after arrest warrants against morcha leaders

CRPF security in Darjeeling
SILIGURI: There's palpable tension in the Darjeeling hills after a Kolkata court issued arrest warrants against 23 key Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leaders in connection with the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League president Madan Tamang.

This is despite claims by all political parties, including the GJM, that they have taken steps to "maintain peace" in the region.

Bharati Tamang, widow of Madan Tamang, has warned that she'll go on an indefinite fast if the CBI fails to arrest all those accused in the case. The court had issued the arrest warrants on the basis of the chargesheet filed by the CBI. The GJM leadership, however, appealed for anticipatory bail right after the arrest warrants were issued. Hearing on the case is expected to take place next week.

With intelligence input pointing to possible trouble in the area, security has been beefed up in the hills.

"GJM supporters are terrorising the masses, may be to create pressure on administration or judiciary. We want the government to take adequate measures to ensure safety and security of around 100 witnesses in the Madan Tamang murder case," said Pratap Khati, leader of ABGL.

Almost all top leaders of GJM are unreachable. According to a section of the intelligence network, a few of them may have fled to Nepal, which has an open border with India.


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