GORKHA JANMUKTI Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha and 16 senior leaders of the hill outfit surrendered before the city sessions court on Tuesday, which granted them bail in connection with the 2010 murder of All-India Gorkha League president Madan Tamang.
The leaders surrendered before Chief Judge Subhra Ghosh as per directions of the Calcutta High Court, which had granted them anticipatory bail on December 14.
Gurung, who is also the chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and others were given bail on a bond of Rs 10,000 each.
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On December 14, a division bench comprising Justice Ashim Kumar Roy and Justice M M Banerjee had granted anticipatory bail to 22 people accused in the murder of Tamang and directed the petitioners to surrender before the chief judge of the city sessions court by
The high court had directed that charges should be framed in the case by February 1, 2017 before the court, following which trial will begin.
The bench also directed that all accused should be present in Kolkata, a day before the framing of charges against them and none would be able to leave the jurisdiction of the city court without the its leave till the disposal of the trial.
Sources said the defense counsel went on to tell the court that as Gurung and the other accused are key functionaries of GJM, their stay in Kolkata for such a long period would affect administrative work. However, the court rejected his plea.
Tamang was hacked to death in Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting. The CBI had on May 29, 2015 filed a chargesheet against the GJM leaders under IPC sections for murder and criminal conspiracy.
The agency had filed the final supplementary chargesheet before the court against Gurung, Asha, Giri, former leader Harkabahadur Chettri, assistant general secretary Binoy Tamang, GTA deputy chief executive Col Ramesh Allay and 17 others for criminal conspiracy, murder and other charges.
Prime accused in the case, Nickol Tamang, however, had disappeared from Pintail village near Siliguri, in August 2010 where he was being held by the state CID for interrogation following his arrest. Pema Tamang, wife of Nickol, had moved a Habeas Corpus petition before the Calcutta High Court praying that her husband be traced.
The high court had then directed the CBI to take up the Tamang murder and the Nickol Tamang disappearance cases. Tamang’s widow Bharati had later moved the Supreme Court seeking early completion of investigation and arrest of the accused.