As NIA initiates preliminary enquiry in Darjeeling, Bimal Gurung, in hiding, welcomes move

Gurung has been in the hiding with state police conducting raids to arrest him. The stage is also set for yet another confrontation between Bengal government and the centre over the issue.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Updated: November 5, 2017 5:06:55 pm
Darjeeling, Darjeeling violence, Darjeeling violence cases, NIA, Darjeeling NIA, Bimal Gurung Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung

As National Investigation Agency (NIA) team initiated primary enquiry in Darjeeling for various cases of blasts, arms haul and murder of a police sub inspector, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung welcomes the move. NIA is yet to officially take over the cases, which are presently being investigated by CID.

Interestingly senior GJM leaders including Bimal Gurung is accused in many of the cases, some under UAPA sections. Gurung has been in the hiding with state police conducting raids to arrest him. The stage is also set for yet another confrontation between Bengal government and the centre over the issue.

“We have not received any notification. If they wish to take up the cases we will co-operate,” said a senior official of CID. According to sources, the NIA sent a three member team to the Hills on Friday, who are busy collecting case details and other documents. The team after their return will file a report to higher ups in the agency and a decision will be taken whether or not to take up the cases.

Sources revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is preparing the notification for official takeover of the investigation by NIA into the 12 deaths in alleged police firings in June and July, the four bomb blasts in August and the killing of SI Amitava Malik and the arms haul on October 13.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung welcomed the proposed NIA takeover of the investigation. In a press release issued on Sunday, the GJM supremo said that they had repeatedly urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh for NIA or CBI probe into the killings, bomb blasts and the arms haul.

“Given the grave national security concerns involved with the region, we therefore whole heartedly welcome the NIA probe in the bomb blast and arms haul case and request Request Union home minister Shri Rajnath Singh ji to initiate a CBI probe into the killings Barun Bhujel (GJM councilor who died in a Kolkata hospital under jail custody recently) activists including police officer Amitava Malik… “ wrote Gurung.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to government of India and Union Home Minister Sri Rajnath Singh ji for their support to the highest ideals of fairness and justice in initiating this NIA probe. More importantly we are grateful to Hon’ble MoS and Darjeeling MP Sri S S Ahluwalia ji for tirelessly working for the people of this constituency despite all public perception to the contrary..” said Bimal Gurujng in his press release.

Gurung further wrote that the Bengal government has framed cases against GJM leaders, but failed to investigate in the real cause and culprits behind such incidents. Gurung in his press release stressed on the sensitive location of Darjeeling and stated that subversive activities are a threat to the nation. GJM leaders like Roshan Giri have met with union home minister a number of times to press for central probe into the incidents.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on numerous occasions has alleged that Bimal Gurung and his followers are hand in gloves with insurgents of North East and is backed by a foreign power. According to Section 6 (5) of the NIA Act, 2008, the central government can issue directions to suo motu take over the investigation of a case if it finds it to be a ‘schedule offence’ or an act seen as a national security threat.

According to Section 6 (6) of the same Act, the state government or any of its agencies investigating the agency shall not proceed with the investigation and transmit all relevant documents and records to NIA.

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