Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of his trial in the Madan Tamang murder case to Sikkim from Kolkata apprehending serious law and order crisis. The GJM leader’s plea in the apex court, which has come when north Bengal was witnessing unrest in the wake of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland was opposed by the West Bengal government which said money from Nepal was being pumped in to fuel the agitation.
Giri has been charged with “criminal conspiracy for murder” along with other GJM leaders in the killing of All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president Madan Tamang in 2010.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao asked senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Giri, to file an amended list of dates in the case and posted the matter for hearing to August 8.
Patwalia said if Giri is to appear in court to face murder trial then there will be a serious law and order situation in Kolkata and it may pose serious threat to his life. He said that after the recent Darjeeling protests it is very likely that a serious law and order situation will arise if he is made to go to Kolkata to face trial.
Senior advocate Kalyan Bannerjee, representing the state government, took serious objection to the argument that a law and order situation will be there. He said that the court should seek a report from the military intelligence on the Darjeeling protests and then everything will become clear.
“Money is being pumped in from Nepal to fuel unrest in Darjeeling. They are allowing external forces to come in,” Bannerjee said. He said that Giri wants his trial to be shifted to Sikkim as its chief minister is supporting them.
The bench, however, said it is concerned with the law and order situation and if that is the case then it may order trial to be conducted through video conferencing.
The CBI has indicted the entire top leadership of the GJM for the murder of the AIGL president. Besides Giri, GJM president Bimal Gurung is among the nine top leaders named in the charge sheet.
Gurung, his wife Asha and several senior leaders of the hill outfit had surrendered before a city court which granted them bail in the murder case.