Furious with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for staying away from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration meeting that was scheduled for September 4 to elect the hill councils new chief executive,the state government has decided to dust off the criminal cases against senior GJM leaders.
On top of the list is the Sibchu firing case in which most of the senior GJM leaders,including Morcha president Bimal Gurung,are accused. The case,registered in February 2011,was shelved after the GTA agreement was signed.
To begin with,the polices CID will seek custody of Benoy Tamang,the GJM vice-president arrested last month in connection with another pending case. The CID has been probing the Sibchu firing for the past two years but has not filed a chargesheet so far,reportedly because the government had instructed it to go slow on the case.
We will take Benoy Tamang in custody soon. And well submit chargesheet in the case shortly, a senior CID official said.
Gurung,meanwhile,has pleaded for anticipatory bail in the case. He is now out on interim bail.
The case dates back to February 8,2011,when GJM activists clashed with the police while trying to enter Sibchu,the entry to Dooars,by breaking a police barricade. The clashes and police firing left three GJM activists dead and a policewoman critically injured.
The then Left Front regime handed over probe into the case to the CID,which booked Gurung,several GJM leaders and about 1,000 activists in Nagrakata on charges of conspiracy,damaging state property and obstructing government officials from doing their duty. However,for over two years thereafter the investigation snailed on.
Then,Gurung resigned on July 29 as GTA chief executive and the GJM called an indefinite strike in the hills for a separate Gorkhalanad state. And the CID went after them in earnest. It opposed the interim bail granted to Gurung and has arrested nearly 1,100 GJM leaders and workers over the past month.
The government is cracking down on political activists,violating the GTA agreement. Clause 29 of the agreement states that the government would review the cases lodged against GJM leaders and workers and withdraw them, Eons Das Pradhan,chairman of the Gorkhaland State Joint Action Committee,said. However,the government is now using those cases against the political party.