Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi over alleged atrocities committed by police officers in the Hills and called for an NIA probe into all cases registered against GJM workers since June 2017. The MP highlighted an audio clip, purportedly of a “police officer” threatening to burn down the house of a local resident and rape his mother and sister. The clip, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, has gone viral in the Hills.
Ahluwalia has requested Rajnath to order the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to probe all cases filed against GJM cadres since the beginning of the agitation for a separate Gokhaland state in June 2017. The move comes even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated an investor summit in Darjeeling the same day. Leader of the pro-Gorkhaland faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Bimal Gurung, also issued a statement from hiding on the issue on Sunday. Binay Tamang, chief of the Gorkha Territorial Administration, had issued a counter-statement rubbishing the allegations.
“Citing various acts of arson and violence, the West Bengal Police has booked NDA ally GJM’s Chief Bimal Gurung and hundreds of his followers under UAPA and other sections. The FIR’s also include ‘over 5000-7000 unnamed others’, allowing for willful inclusion of anyone and everyone at any time in these cases. Hence, given the confession by IC Darjeeling, caught on tape, it is imperative that all these cases filed in relation to the Darjeeling Bandh call from June 2017, be investigated by an independent agency such as the NIA, since the local law enforcement agencies under the control of West Bengal government seem to be the ones perpetrating such acts…” the letter read.
“On behalf of my constituents, I humbly request you to kindly order an NIA inquiry into this matter at the earliest, and to instruct the NIA to initiate a suo moto case against Darjeeling IC Saumyajit Roy, and such Police Officials who are responsible for maintaining law and order, but instead seem to be spreading terror thus,” Ahluwalia says in the letter. In the letter to Maneka, Ahluwalia sought “urgent intervention with regard to case of outrage of women’s modesty”, apart from sending a team from the National Commission for Women to Darjeeling to probe the matter.
Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi had on Sunday said that no official complaint has been lodged in the matter. The Darjeeling resident who was allegedly threatened could not be reached despite repeated attempts. It was learnt that he too had written to Maneka earlier, seeking protection for his family.