|Arrest warrants against Bimal Gurung and 22 others in Madan Tamang Case|
Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was hacked to death at Upper Clubside in the heart of Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010 while overseeing preparations for a public meeting.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had requested the city Sessions Court to issue arrest warrants against all 23 accused, including Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung, in the 2010 Madan Tamang murder case. The CBI counsel told the court that the case was on for five years and it was imperative that the accused be arrested for effective investigation of the case.
While the defence counsel opposed the plea, the court accepted the CBI's prayer and directed that an officer of the rank of superintendent execute the arrest warrant by June 26 and place a report before the court in that regard.
On May 29, CBI submitted the chargesheet which named 23 persons including Gurung, his wife and a number of other prominent leaders. They were charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and rioting with deadly weapons.
Besides Gurung, the others against whom warrant has been issued include his wife Asha, party MLA from Kalimpong Harkabahadur Chettri, assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang, GTA chairman Pradeep Pradhan and deputy chief executive Colonel Ramesh Allay, among others.
The court accepted the chargesheet last Monday, and directed the CBI to spell out whether they want to issue summons or arrest warrants. The court had asked CBI’s investigating officer to appear before it on Saturday and say what the investigating agency wants to do with the accused. Complying with CBI appeal, city Sessions Court issued Order to arrest all 23 accused who are listed in final supplementary charge sheet of CBI by June 26.
While the GJM has said they would be moving a higher court in appeal, the AIGL has welcomed the verdict calling for the immediate arrest of all the accused.
"We welcome the court's verdict. This should have been done much earlier. We hope all the accused will be arrested immediately," AIGL general secretary Pratap Khati said.
Initially probed by the state police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the matter was handed over to the CBI after prime accused Nicole Tamang disappeared from the CID's custody in August 2010.