GJM leaders Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri deferred their Thursday return to Darjeeling from Delhi as police cordoned off the Bagdogra airport in Siliguri. The two have been living in hiding for more than one and a half years after clashes in Darjeeling.
After the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed them to approach the Calcutta High Court to seek anticipatory bail in connection with cases registered against them, Gurung and Giri, the general secretary of the Gurung faction, announced that they would return to Darjeeling to file a petition in the Calcutta High Court on Thursday. The top court also said its interim order on December 10, 2018 that said “no coercive” action shall be taken against the GJM leaders will continue “until further orders”.
Meanwhile, two workers of GJM’s Gurung faction, Rohan Rai and Yogendra Pradhan, were detained from the Bagdogra airport after they arrived from Delhi on Thursday. They were taken away in police vehicles. Police did not reveal the reason for detention.
“Rohan Rai and Yogendra Pradhan are our supporters. They were carrying documents that were to be submitted to the Jalpaiguri circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court. We are trying to find out what steps police are planning against them,” said B P Bajgain, spokesperson of GJM (Gurung), in Siliguri.
“Gurung was keen to come today. But seeing the situation here, we advised him against it,” Bajgain said.
Gurung has 121 cases registered against him, including murder, while Giri has 111 cases against him. Their names have been struck off from the voters’ list in Darjeeling.
After the word spread of the scheduled arrival of the GJM leaders, a huge contingent of policemen was present at the Bagdogra airport since morning. Workers and supporters of GJM (Gurung) gathered in a large number to welcome him.
According to GJM leaders, Gurung and his associates had bought tickets on two flights from Delhi. While one of the flights landed around 12:30pm, the other was scheduled to land at 2pm. However, they did not arrive there. The airport does not operate flights at night.
“Bimal Gurung fooled the people again,” said Binay Tamang, chief of Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) and the leader of GJM’s Tamang faction.
Gurung and his associates were booked under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after clashes in Darjeeling in August-September 2017. Gurung had called for a 104-day-long strike to renew the demand of separate state of Gorkhaland. In this period,13 people were killed. —With PTI inputs