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  India   All India  23 Jun 2017  FIR against GJM chief for murder of three activists

FIR against GJM chief for murder of three activists

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 23, 2017, 1:49 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2017, 1:49 am IST

The three protesters had died in Singmari when violent clashes broke out between the police and GJM supporters.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung (Photo: PTI)
 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: On a day when the West Bengal said it was open to discussions to restore normalcy in the restive Darjeeling hills, the police registered an FIR against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and his wife Asha Gurung, charging them with the murder of three GJM activists.

The three protesters had died in Singmari when violent clashes broke out between the police and GJM supporters.

Apart from Mr Gurung, who is spearheading the movement for the demand of Gorkhaland, and his wife, 24 members of the party have been named in the suo moto FIR lodged at the Darjeeling Sadar police station.

“Police did not fire. GJM cadres were killed when bullets were fired from their side. Some police personnel were also injured,” a senior police officer said.

GJM central committee member Binay Tamang rubbished the charges and said that the police had fired at the protesters. “Why should we kill our own supporters? It’s so silly… stupid. Is there any evidence of Morcha using guns? But it was seen in the video footage that police resorted to firing. We demand a CBI inquiry into the death of our three supporters,” Mr Tamang said.

In Kolkata, West Bengal home secretary Malay De chaired what the government had billed as an all-party meet” on the prevailing situation in the Hills on Thursday. It was not attended by the GJM, or any political party from the Hills. The Congress, the CPI(M) and the BJP also stayed away.

The home secretary said three political parties, including the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), and two development boards of the Hills participated in the meeting.  

The West Bengal government did not give any commitment on withdrawal of security forces, a demand made by the GJM, but said the doors “are open for talks to restore normalcy”.

GJM sources said that 44 of their members will resign from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) on Saturday. “We will submit our resignation to the principal secretary of GTA, Barun Roy. We have also postponed the all-party meeting scheduled on Saturday. The GTA agreement will be burnt on June 26,” a GJM leader said.

GTA is the semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills.

Trinamul Congress’ Darjeeling district president Goutam Deb said, “Our constitution maintains that equality of law should be ensured. They have set fire to a number of government offices, including health centres. An ITI was also vandalised. Most of their leaders are in hiding. Law will take its own course.”  

GJM leaders are now leading the Gorkhaland movement from undisclosed hideouts through video clips that play on local TV channels since Internet connectivity remains suspended in the region.

Sources in Darjeeling police said that since June 9, at least 33 cases have been lodged against GJM leaders. “At least 17 cases against Morcha leaders include charges of rioting, damage to government property, arson and stone pelting,” a police source said. Thursday marked the 11th day of the GJM-sponsored shutdown in Darjeeling hills.

Tags: darjeeling unrest, bimal gurung, gorkhaland, gjm protests