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Friday, May 21, 2010

Gorkha League chief Madan Tamang killed, Darjeeling tense...

Butchery of dissent Gorkha leader hacked to death at Darjeeling meet venue guarded by armed policemen 
VivekChhetri, TT, Darjeeling, May 21: Dissent was hacked to death in Darjeeling today, the khukuris falling mercilessly on a 62-year-old leader sitting at the venue of a public meeting in front of armed policemen.
Madan Tamang, one of the few voices in the hills that had challenged the writ of current Gorkhaland-spearhead Bimal Gurung, died a grisly death at the hands of a mob a little past 9 this morning.
The daylight murder, the audacity and gruesome nature of which has rarely been seen before in Bengal, took place at a spot that was ringed by some of the most famous landmarks in the hills such as Planter’s Club and Keventer’s.
The outspoken police boss of north Bengal directly blamed Gurung’s Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for the murder of Tamang, who was the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL).
The ABGL, though not as powerful as the Morcha which has displaced Subash Ghisingh’s GNLF as the principal campaigner for statehood, has been trying to take on Gurung by saying that he has failed to deliver Gorkhaland.
Dissent has been a casualty ever since the Morcha exploded on the scene two years ago, so much so that other parties have been allowed to hold only a handful of meetings in Darjeeling.
Four days ago, Tamang had met governor M.K. Narayanan, who is in Darjeeling for the summer, and complained to him about the absence of democracy in the hills and the Morcha’s high-handedness.
Narayanan, who issued a statement that was stronger than the comments of the state government which is handling the sensitive issue with extreme caution, today referred to the point raised by the slain leader.
“The fatal attack on him can only be regarded as an attack on democratic forces,” the governor said. “This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue,” Narayanan added.

Till late this evening, the hills were cloaked in a shutdown. The Centre is sending three companies of the CRPF and the state has despatched two companies of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) to maintain peace.
This morning, Tamang had sought to defy the unwritten Morcha bar on other parties’ meetings, arriving with around 50 supporters at the Clubside motor stand in front of Planter’s Club to celebrate his party’s foundation day.
The ABGL had originally scheduled the meeting at Chowk Bazaar, around half a kilometre from the motor stand. However, with the Morcha also deciding to hold a meeting at the same place, Tamang’s party had changed its venue.
At 9.15am, when preparations for the meeting were going on, a mob of 100-odd youths, all armed with lathis and khukuris, descended on the venue, vented war cries like “aayo Gorkhali” and pulled down flags.
Around 40 police personnel were guarding the roads leading to the venue. Ten men belonging to the IRB, a state force, were carrying arms. The ABGL supporters were also armed with lathis and khukuris but the outnumbered ranks fled.
Before Tamang, who was sitting in a chair, could whip out his licensed revolver, he was hacked on the neck. He slumped to the ground, the spurting blood forming puddles.
Tamang’s bodyguard, a state armed police constable, fired from his service revolver, injuring Sangay Yolmo, 33, and Subash Tamang, 53. They are in different hospitals but had not been arrested till late this evening. The police refused to say if they were affiliated to any group.
Tamang was first taken to Planter’s Hospital, about 50 metres away. He was immediately referred to the Darjeeling district hospital, where he was declared “brought dead”.
K.L. Tamta, the inspector-general of police, north Bengal, said: “The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha attacked Madan Tamang.”
But Morcha president Bimal Gurung termed the killing a “conspiracy hatched by the state and the ABGL” to tarnish his party’s image.
Tamta, the police chief, deflected to the state government the question why his force did not act. “The question should be asked to the government. But we want the Morcha leadership, particularly Amar Lama, who is Tamang’s younger brother, to say who is responsible for the murder,” Tamta said.
Contacted, Lama termed the murder “a cowardly act”.
Eighteen people have been arrested from Morcha-dominated areas.
Concern, not crackdown Simply a case of murder: Govt
TT, May 21: The Bengal government today said it had asked the Darjeeling administration to arrest the culprits behind Madan Tamang’s murder, but gave enough indication that, like in the recent past, it would not take any action that could “precipitate” the situation in the hills.
After a meeting with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, both home secretary Samar Ghosh and director-general of police Bhupinder Singh made it clear the “sensitive” hill situation would have to be handled “carefully”.
“We have sent additional state forces to Darjeeling,” Ghosh said.
“Strict vigil has to be maintained so that clashes or killings do not occur. But we also have to make sure the police do not do anything that can be termed excesses. After all, the situation in the hills is sensitive. We are treating this incident simply as a case of murder. So, only the standard operational procedure will be followed.”
The government is aware that the situation is “tricky” as Tamang’s alleged killers are Morcha supporters and it would not want to do anything “hasty” that could derail the ongoing talks to end the hill impasse. “As it is, the talks are stuck over the dispute on territory. If the state does anything that upsets the Morcha, it could jeopardise the talks further,” an official said.
“It is important to measure the cost of action.”
Underlining what Ghosh said, state police chief Singh stressed there had been “no breakdown in law and order” in the hills and there was no need to react to it as such. “It’s a case of two political parties combating each other,” Singh said.
“It is not that some ethnic or communal clashes have broken out. Only if there is a law-and-order breakdown will the government crack down. But that is not the case. There are no reports of clashes after the incident.”
In Delhi, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, too, indicated that normality had to prevail and the tripartite talks had to go forward. “Our main priority will be to keep the national highways which pass through Darjeeling district open as they are vital to our sec-urity… they connect Sikkim and Bhutan,” Mukherjee told The Telegraph. “I’m worried about the violence spreading in the hills.”
Mukherjee said the talks with the “Gorkha (Janmukti Morcha) leaders” would continue. “In the long run, some more autonomy may be granted but neither a separate province nor extended territory for Gorkhaland is possible…. Darjeeling is a strategic area and a perpetual solution through dialogue is the only way out.”
In Calcutta, minister of state for hill affairs Asok Bhattacharya, one of the state’s two representatives at the political-level tripartite talks, lashed out at the Morcha, holding it responsible for Tamang’s murder. “The Morcha killed Tamang in a pre-planned manner as he had called for the restoration of democracy in the hills.”
On the future of the tripartite talks, Bhattacharya said: “Tripartite meetings cannot be held at gunpoint or with those who have blood on their hands. Today’s incident will surely have an impact on such meetings.
However, Ghosh cautioned against “jumping to any con- clusions”.
“We’ll go by what the Centre says,” the home secretary said. “Today’s incident is definitely undesirable but the agenda for the tripartite meeting is different.’’
In Delhi, Union home secretary G.K. Pillai admitted that the bloodshed would impact the talks atmosphere. “It (the murder) vitiates the atmosphere for talks. There is a need for people to keep calm and work towards a peaceful solution and all sides need to maintain peace,” he said.
North Bengal inspector- general of police K.L. Tamta said three companies of the CRPF were heading to Darjee-ling to ensure normality in the hills.
May 21: Governor M.K. Nar-ayanan, now on a vacation in Darjeeling, reacted with “shock and sorrow” at the “gruesome murder” of Madan Tamang and condemned the “politics of violence” in the hills.
Governor urge firm action
TT, May 21: Governor M.K. Nar-ayanan, now on a vacation in Darjeeling, reacted with “shock and sorrow” at the “gruesome murder” of Madan Tamang and condemned the “politics of violence” in the hills.
Raj Bhavan sources said Narayanan was so “disturbed” at the killing that he called up chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and discussed at great length the hill situation. He said “firm action” should be taken to deal with the killers.
Later in the evening, he summoned north Bengal inspector-general of police K.L. Tamta, Darjeeling district magistrate Surendra Gupta, superintendent D.P. Singh and special inspector-general D.T. Lepcha.
In a statement issued in Darjeeling, Narayanan said: “The government is determined to come down heavily on those indulging in violence. This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue.”
Only three days ago, Narayanan had met Tamang when the ABGL leader visited the Raj Bhavan in Darjeeling as part of the fledgling Democratic Front to discuss the hill situation and complain about the high-handedness of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Alleged Morcha supporters killed him today.
In today’s statement, the governor did not mention the Morcha, whose leaders he met on Wednesday and whom he had appealed to “see that peace and tranquillity in the hills is not disturbed”.
In a tone that was sterner, the governor today said: “The law-enforcement agencies of the state government have been asked to take all possible steps to restore order at any cost. Violence cannot be allowed to disrupt the life and livelihood of the peace-loving people of the hills.”
Describing Tamang as a “respected leader of Darjeeling”, Narayanan said the attack on him could “only be described as an attack on the democratic forces”.
During the meeting with Narayanan on Tuesday, the Front leaders had complained about “lack of democracy” in the hills and how the Morcha was preventing them from carrying on with their political activities. They had also mentioned Morcha attacks on their office.
Voice of Opposition symbol of valour (Madan Tamang/1948-2010)
TT:Madan Tamang died as bravely as he had lived. Arguably, the hills’ most-gifted orator in politics, Tamang had never wavered when it came to speaking his mind, which, in the end, cost him his life.
He entered politics when in college and became a close associate of the then undisputed leader of the hills, Deo Prakash Rai. During the 1970s, he headed Tarun Gorkha, the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League’s (ABGL) youth wing, and shot into the limelight with his oratory.
In 1977, he was made the district secretary of the League but resigned in 1980 to join a new outfit called Pranta Parishad. His exit from the League was largely because of differences with senior leaders. Pranta Parishad threatened to overshadow the League after it spearheaded a campaign along with apolitical organisations like the Nepali Bhasa Manyata Samiti to include the Nepali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
Tamang had worked closely with Subash Ghisingh during the early days of Pranta Parishad, but the latter floated the GNLF in 1980 and slowly started overshadowing the Parishad with the statehood demand.
By 1986, the entire hills were with Ghisingh but Tamang refused to join him. Even at the height of the Gorkhaland agitation, between 1986 and 1988, Tamang never shied away from criticising Ghisingh and the violence he had unleashed. Tamang was then the only hill resident who openly spoke against the GNLF.
The GNLF did not take things lying down and burnt his ancestral house at Meghma near Sandakphu.
In 1992, Tamang floated the Gorkha Democratic Front (GDF) when the GNLF started opposing the inclusion of the Nepali language in the Constitution. The GNLF wanted the language in the Constitution after having its name changed from Nepali to Gorkhali.
At a public meeting at Chowk Bazaar, hordes of khukuri-wielding GNLF supporters surrounded Tamang once but he stood his ground and continued with his speech. In the end, the language was incorporated as Nepali/Gorkha in the Constitution.
After his success with the language agitation, Tamang lied low only to rejoin the League in 2004.
He defied GNLF-sponsored strikes to address public meetings against the inclusion of the hills in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. His vehicle was attacked in Kalimpong, his meeting was stoned in Bijanbari but he never lived in fear. Instead, he headed an anti-Ghisingh conglomeration called the People’s Democratic Front.
When the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha came into being in 2007, he initially supported the new party but animosity started to set in when his call for a collective leadership to pursue the statehood demand was disregarded. Alleged Morcha supporters attacked his house, burnt a League office and prevented him from holding public meetings, but nothing could stop him from voicing his views.
Recently, Tamang played a vital role in bringing several non-Morcha outfits to form the Democratic Front.
Tamang dedicated his life to politics but he also loved to live life kingsize. Well read, he had one of the finest collections of books in the hills. He was a keen gardener and his Gothic-style house suggested he was a man of taste.
A Gorkha who was proud of Nepali
Uday Basu , SNS, KOLKATA, 21 May: The All India Gorkha League president, Madan Tamang (in photo), who met a violent and tragic end today, had enormous pride in the Nepali language and was a strong advocate for a separate Gorkhaland. Even when he and his party were marginalised in the Hills and upstaged by the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, he was fearlessly articulating his views.
This reporter met him a few months back, when he gave a long interview on a whole range of issues at the height of the GJMM's aggressive posturing for a separate state.
Moments after the interview began, Tamang stopped in the middle of a sentence and furiously protested when this reporter pleaded his ignorance of the Nepali language in which he was speaking.
“How can you say you don't understand a word of Nepali? This is the problem with the plains people. You see, you want to retain Darjeeling for your state, but you can neither understand nor speak Nepali. I can speak Bengali, English, Hindi...” he thundered, a tall, robust man whose frame was convulsing with rage.
He soon, however, calmed down and began to explain his views in Nepali gesturing at a local journalist who happened to be in the semi-dark, shadowy, derelict party office tucked away in a dingy hilly ledge, to interpret his words to me.
He was most vocal against the GJMM's brand of politics, the way it was espousing the cause of Gorkhaland. He was particularly opposed to the GJMM's tactic of fielding (then) BJP stalwart, Mr Yaswant Singh, as the Lok Sabha candidate from Darjeeling backed by it. 
“It's totally wrong to import leaders from outside, especially from Rajasthan, to speak for the Hills. What do they know about us and the sentiments of the Gorkha population? The solution has to come from within the Hills. No one from outside can be expected to deliver the goods. It's for us to wage a protracted struggle to realise our demand,” Mr Tamang was passionately blurting out in Nepali and the interpreter, who was well versed in the language, found it difficult to keep pace with him.
The party office had only a handful of faithfuls as GJMM activists and leaders were then menacingly hurtling down the Hill roads in jeeps and other vehicles sporting their yellow-green party flags. GNLF supporters were cowering before the GJMM, especially after Mr Gurung had threatened that their leader, Mr Subash Ghising, won't be allowed to move up the Hills. 
But Tamang stood there like a towering rock. “No threat would work on me. I will speak out what I fervently believe and none can rob me of my tongue. I am convinced the GJMM has pinned its faith on a false god who can't be seen much in the hills once the elections are over. It's for us to evolve the right strategy to realise our dreams without using threat and terror as tools,” he said.
His undaunted courage didn't desert him even when the assailants were plunging their knives and swords into his body. 
Khukuris silence guns Cops toe govt peace line-Cops toe govt peace line 
K. L. Tamta
TT, May 21: As many as 10 armed policemen were on duty, but not a single shot was fired save the two by Madan Tamang’s personal security officer when over a hundred alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters overran the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League’s meeting venue this morning.
Senior police officers said the force — 40 personnel — posted at Clubside motor stand was enough to tackle the mob that had descended since the alleged Morcha supporters were armed only with khukuris and not the firepower the personnel had.
Inspector-general of police, north Bengal, K.L. Tamta said “Morcha supporters” had “dodged” the police to reach Tamang.
“Permission to hold the meeting had been given to the ABGL as we thought there won’t be any deterioration of law and order in the presence of the governor, who is in Darjeeling,” Tamta said.
“It is unfortunate that the incident happened when our men were present there along with an inspector-in-charge. The police tried to stop them but they failed to do so as Morcha supporters dodged them and reached Tamang,” he added.
He did not respond when asked why the police failed to make any credible effort to stop them. “We admit that it is necessary to reinstate the rule of law in the hills and for this we will work in accordance with the state government’s instructions,” he said.
In private, senior officers said the police had failed to save Tamang for two reasons. First, they had failed to anticipate the attack and were relaxed. Second, conditioned by repeatedly being told by their superiors not to take any action that would further “inflame” the situation, they thought that no matter what the provocation, they would have to simply stand by.
“The police should have anticipated the attack as Morcha chief Bimal Gurung had warned his political adversaries that ‘people’, meaning his supporters, would not tolerate any political activity other than that by his party,” an officer said.
He added that given the situation in the hills, it would have been a surprise if attacks on Morcha opponents did not take place. However, several officers said the “ultimate blame” must lie with the government, which let the Morcha do whatever it felt like because Writers’ Buildings was scared of “provoking” the situation.
“There have been several instances of violence in the hills where the police stood by doing nothing,” an officer said. “They did so because it is the government’s policy not to get into a confrontation with the Morcha, letting its supporters get away with murder. The rule of law here has collapsed because of the state.”
Bloodstain on Gandhian claim
TT, Darjeeling, May 21: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri denied his party’s role in the killing of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, saying “we do not believe in the politics of violence and killings”.
But after today’s incident, the Morcha will find it increasingly difficult to shake off charges that the party indulged in violence to terrorise its political opponents in the hills as Tamang’s killing is widely being seen as the handiwork of Bimal Gurung’s outfit.
Political leaders pointed to the manner in which the Morcha had prevented the ABGL, the oldest political party in the hills, from holding meetings in Darjeeling several times in the past.
At least on three occasions in the past two years, the woman’s wing of the Morcha had forcibly occupied the podium at Chowk Bazaar, on the days the ABGL had announced its meetings there. The Morcha’s aim was to scuttle the ABGL programmes anyhow.
Even the meeting that was to be held today was originally meant to be organised on May 15 but had to be postponed to May 19 as the Morcha had called its weekend strike. But even on May 19, the Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Morcha, prevented the ABGL from carrying on with its public meeting as it announced its own rally that day. Even today’s rally was to be held at Chowk Bazaar but had to be relocated to the Clubside motor stand as the Morcha had occupied the podium there.
“It was clear that the Morcha was opposed to the ABGL holding a public meeting,” said R.B. Rai, general secretary of the CPRM and a former Darjeeling MP. “It is the same case with the other hill parties opposed to the Morcha.”
“The murder of a prominent leader from Darjeeling is a climax of the lawlessness prevailing here and has exposed how the Morcha’s claims of adhering to Gandhian philosophy are false. The murder of a prominent leader must be condemned by everyone,” said Rai.
Political leaders also pointed out that every time the Morcha had indulged in violence it had blamed it on the “spontaneous reaction of emotionally charged people” and had distanced itself from the incidents. However, few from the opposition camp are willing to believe the Morcha’s “Gandhian claims” any longer.
“My house was burnt and I have not been able to stay in Kurseong. Do they still want to talk about Gandhian philosophy? I as a people’s representative and also a member of the GNLF demand that a CBI inquiry be started to probe the death of Madan Tamang,” said Shanta Chhetri, MLA from Kurseong.
On April 23, Hijjan Thapa, president of the Morcha’s trade union from Chungthung, had blamed Morcha cadres for killing his brother Pusha Jung Thapa, for allegedly being a GNLF supporter. The Morcha had also come in for much criticism following the death of one Tikaram Chhetri, a former ward commissioner from Kalimpong last week.
Tamang death takes toll on hill tourism
TT, Siliguri, May 21: The murder of the ABGL chief has sent tourists scurrying downhill and shivers down the stakeholders of the tourism industry who fear that the season has died an early death.
“We have no clue as to what we should do. The news has prompted our counterparts and clients from different locations to call us and cancel (their bookings),” said Samrat Sanyal, the general secretary of the Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators’ Association.
“Tourists who are in Darjeeling and Sikkim panicked the most and have been continuously calling us. We have no option but to tell them that we ready with all back-up but the decision would have to be their own. In case they want to cancel their bookings, we are ready to refund the money. Now that the news has been flashed in the national media, we wonder what the tourist inflow will be during the next few months,” he said.
After the two-day strike by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on May 15 and 16, tourists, who had bookings in Darjeeling, had started trickling back into the hills. “We were worried about the cancellations for June, when the Morcha has called a 10-day strike,” Sanyal said.
“But after today’s incident, each stakeholder is in a state of utter confusion. There is no formal strike but tension prevails in Darjeeling and other hill towns forcing the tourists to come down. But if any strike is called or the situation deteriorates further, the tourists may find themselves in problem. It seems the season has ended,” added Sanyal
While hundreds of tourists rushed down from the hills today, others on way to the hills either stayed back in Siliguri or left for the Dooars.
“As the news spread, tourists started enquiring about accommodations in the Dooars and are moving out there,” said Raj Basu, the association president. “How can we tell tourists, who are spending so much, to cut short their trip and go back. The season is dead.”
Mrinmoy Karmakar, who has come with a five-member group from Kasba in Calcutta, preferred not to move to the hills. “We learnt about the incident and stayed back in Siliguri. The driver also suggested that it is better not to go to Darjeeling today,” Karmakar said.
The tour operators recalled Tamang who as a stakeholder of the industry used to offer accommodation to the tourists at his Darjeeling house and also at his ancestral home at Meghma on the Indo-Nepal border near Manebhanjan.
“His house at Meghma was very popular with trekkers on the Sandakphu-Phalut route,” Basu said. “In Darjeeling, many people used to stay in his place. He used to entertain them with historical and interesting stories of the hills. We mourn his death as he often used to speak of a comprehensive plan to develop the Darjeeling tourism circuit.”
IANS, Darjeeling, May 21: Gorkha leader Madan Tamang, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), was Friday stabbed to death allegedly by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in this northern West Bengal town, police said. While the GJM denied its involvement, news of the death led to a spontaneous shutdown in the region.
Tamang, who led the anti-GJM Democratic Front in the Darjeeling Hills, was attacked with a khukri (long knife used by Nepalis) and swords on Laden La Road near the Planters' Club around 9.30 a.m., an official said. He was 64. 
(Photo-Madan Tamang, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League was fatally stabbed in Darjeeling on Friday. Photo: Rabin Giri, The Hindu)
"He was critically injured in the attack and died in the Darjeeling District Hospital," Darjeeling police station inspector-in-charge Indrajit Thapa told IANS.
On hearing about the incident, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee convened an emergency meeting at the state secretariat Writers' Buildings here and directed police and administrative officials to take all measures to keep the situation under control.
ABGL general secretary Laxman Pradhan alleged that a 40-strong mob of GJM activists attacked Tamang and his associates while he was busy making arrangements for a meeting later Friday.
The meeting was organised to celebrate ABGL's 67th foundation day. "Our foundation day is May 15. But district authorities had refused us permission on that day fearing trouble. After a lot or pleas, we were allowed to hold the meeting today (Friday)," Pradhan said.
After the mob attacked, the policemen guarding Tamang fired in the air.
Tamang, bleeding profusely from shoulder and stomach injuries, was rushed to the Darjeeling District Hospital. As his condition deteriorated, Tamang's supporters decided to shift him to Siliguri, but he died on the way.
His body is now in the Darjeeling District Hospital.
The articulate and well-educated Tamang was involved with the hills' politics for over 40 years as a front-ranking ABGL leader. A strong advocate of a new state of Gorkhaland, to be carved out of parts of northern Bengal, Tamang had all along maintained a distinct identity of the ABGL and consistently opposed the GJM, which has been spearheading the statehood agitation for the last couple of years.
The GJM was cut up with Tamang after he levelled corruption charges against its chief Bimal Gurung and threatened to banish him from the hills.
State Municipal Affairs Minister Ashok Bhattacharya said in Kolkata that GJM supporters had carried out the attack on Tamang.
"The GJM's goons have committed the murder. The GJM is a fascist party, which does not want any opposition in the hills. They are opposed to a democratic atmosphere prevailing in the hills," he said.
"We are deeply concerned. The hills are very tense," said Bhattacharya, who hails from Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
However, Darjeeling District Magistrate Surendra Gupta said a probe was on to identify Tamang's killers. "There are allegations against the GJM. But only an investigation can say for certain who is involved."
The GJM, on the other hand, denied its involvement, and instead blamed the state administration.
"It's a very unfortunate happening. It's a dark day for the hills. Why should our men be involved? Because we know if our party is involved in the murder of a man of Tamang's stature, then we will lose support among the people," Harka Bahadur Chhetri, GJM's press and publicity secretary, told IANS.
"It could be the handiwork of the state government and the administration to weaken our Gorkhaland movement. It's a big conspiracy. Whoever is involved, irrespective of party affiliation, he should be given exemplary punishment," he said.
As news of Tamang's killing spread, a spontaneous shutdown began in the three Darjeeling hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
Vehicles in Darjeeling went off the roads, while shops and markets were closed.
"There is lot of tension and panic in the hills. Anything may happen any time," a police officer said.
SCENES from the spot after the attack on Madan Tamang

                                  Scenes from the spot of attack in Clubside Motor stand

                                  Police chasing the groups and some fleeing themselves

Madan Tamang to Eternal sleep 
Photo Courtesy: Rabin Rai and Darjeeling times
 KalimNews:All India Gorkha League President Madan Tamang died on Friday after being allegedly attacked by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in Darjeeling.
After holding a rally in Chowrasta a 500  strong GJMM group headed towards the clubside venue of ABGL's venue for League Day observance where about  50 ABGL's supporters were preparing the venue for the observation. Madan Tamang was supervising for the preparation on the spot  while a few GJMM supporters tore away the flags of ABGL and an altercation started with fist fighting among the two groups. Madan Tamang tried to intervene but suddenly a young man attacked him repeatedly with Khukuri. The fight was fierce with lethal weapons and many were injured.   The ABGL supporters and some police force also fled from the spot. Armed body guard of Tamang provided by the police present in the venue fired five rounds in air to disperse the groups and control the situation in which a few GJMM supporters suffered injuries and hospitalised. A police reported that Tamang was attacked with sharp weapons and he fell with injuries, he was helped by police to take him to Planters Hospital from where he was referred to District Hospital there he was declared brought dead.
He succumbed to multiple injuries on head, neck, shoulder and on stomach.
After the  incident Hotel Meghma and  his car belonging to Dawa Sherpa, BJP state President was ransacked and damaged by another group. Spontaneous strike was observed in Darjeeling, Kuseong and Kalimpong. All shops  were shut and vehicles were off the road fearing further clashes. Bimal Gurung while addressing a media conference in Kalimpong denied of having any connection of GJMM in the attack. Later in the afternoon GJMM pasted posters in all the areas to keep the shops closed in protest against the attack by Police to the GJMM supporters. Almost in all the places of Darjeeling hills the shops were kept closed throughout  the rest of the day. It was learnt that in Darjeeling after the incident a spontaneous Bandh was observed GJMM pasted posters informing that GJMM has not announced bandh and all shops should be kept open but it was ignored. Later GJMM again pasted posters for keeping all shops closed.
His dead body will be cremated at his ancestral home in Meghma near Sandakphu where he owns a Tea garden in the Indo-Nepal border on 22nd May.  
So far 18 people are arrested for the attack. Of the seriously injured Sangey Yolmo (23), is shifted to a Siliguri nursing home while Subhas Tamang (53)  is admitted in a private nursing home in Darjeeling. The condition of the injured Anjana Tamang (32) and Prashant Chhetri (29) is stable. According to a police information altogether 32 are detained and raid for the arrest of the culprits is continuing.
Bimal Gurung while addressing a press conference in Kalimpong blamed Government for giving permission to ABGL to hold the programme while GJMM had its own programme. I had been warning the opposition to refrain from opposing us and it happened to defame us and we condemn the incident, Gurung told the reporters.
RB Rai CPRM General Secretary said that it is the handiwork of Bengal and GJMM, a heinous crime.
IBN live Darjeeling: All India Gorkha League President Madan Tamang died on Friday after being allegedly attacked by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in Darjeeling. Police say Tamang was attacked with sharp weapons and was being taken to Siliguri for further treatment when he succumbed to his injuries.
"Tamang was attacked near Planters' Club this morning when he was supervising the arrangements for a meeting to be held later in the day. Miscreants hit him with khukris and swords, wounding him on the shoulder and stomach," Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) KL Tamta said.
Tamang was preparing for a Gorkha meeting at Planters' Club in Darjeeling which was scheduled to take place later on Friday.
Tamta said All India Gorkha League initially decided to hold the meeting at Darjeeling Chowrasta but later shifted the venue due to opposition from GJM.
Tamang had been opposing GJM's stand on a interim set-up for Darjeeling hills and demanded Gorkhaland instead. Tension prevailed in Darjeeling following the attack with shops and markets closing down.
PTI:All India Gorkha League president and a strong advocate of Gorkhaland, Madan Tamang, was on Friday killed in an attack by unidentified assailants in Darjeeling town.
Darjeeling District Magistrate Surindra Gupta said he was attacked with kukris and swords near the Planters’ Club when he was supervising arrangements for a meeting scheduled for later in the day. He has died, Gupta said.
There was a clash between AIGL supporters and activists of the GJM who were opposed to the meeting following which police fired five rounds.
Gupta said no one was injured in the firing.
However, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told PTI that a few of his supporters were injured in the clash and one suffered bullet injuries.
Tamang was opposed to the GJM’s stand on an interim set-up for Darjeeling hills pending setting up of a separate state and demanded Gorkhaland instead.
Inspector-General of Police (North Bengal) K L Tamta said AIGL had initially decided to hold the meeting at Darjeeling Chowrasta, but later shifted the venue due to opposition from GJM.
Immediately after the attack on Tamang, shops and markets closed down, the police said. Police has also intensified patrolling in Darjeeling town.
Government orders inquiry
The West Bengal government ordered an inquiry into the killing of All India Gorkha League president Madan Tamang in Darjeeling.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee held an urgent meeting with state Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen, Home Secretary Samar Ghosh, DGP Bhupinder Singh and Urban Development Minister Asok Bhattacharya and reviewed the situation in the hills.
Tamang was killed by unidentified assailants in Darjeeling town.
Condemning the attack, Mr. Bhattacharjee directed the hill administration and the police to take immediate action against the assailants.He also called for stepping up security in the entire hill areas, official sources said.
The state’s urban development minister also condemned the incident and said the assailants should be immediately arrested.
Trinamool Congress condemned Tamang’s killing in broad daylight in and alleged that there was no security of life of common people in the state and sought Central intervention.
“Mamata Banerjee is shocked along with all sections of Trinamool Congress workers at Tamang’s murder and expressed the view that her party is always against politics of violence,” party general secretary Partha Chatterjee said in a release.
“Law and order has collapsed in the state and it is time the Centre intervened to ensure security of life and property of people,” the release said. 
ZeeNews Bureau Siliguri, WB: Tension ran high in Darjeeling town on Friday after All India Gorkha League president and Gorkhaland proponent Madan Tamang was killed by some unidentified assailants while he was supervising a public meeting.
As per reports, the incident took place near Planters’ Club this morning while Tamang was supervising the arrangements for a meeting to be held later in the day.
Tamang sustained serious injuries after being attacked with sharp weapons by a group of unidentified assailants, who fled the spot immediately after the incident.
Confirming the attack on Tamag, Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) KL Tamta told reporters, “Tamang was attacked near Planters' Club this morning. Miscreants hit him with kukris and swords, wounding him on the shoulder and stomach."
"He was critically injured in the attack and died in the Darjeeling District Hospital," Darjeeling Police Station Inspector-in-Charge Indrajit Thapa also told reporters.
As news of Tamang's killing spread, a spontaneous shutdown began in the three Darjeeling hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
Vehicles in Darjeeling went off the roads, while shops and markets were closed.
On hearing about the attack on Tamang, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee convened an emergency meeting at the state secretariat Writers' Buildings here and directed police and administrative officials to take all measures to keep the situation under control.
Tamang was seen as a hardliner who wanted nothing short of Gorkhaland. He recently opposed GJM's stand on a interim set-up for Darjeeling hills and demanded Gorkhaland instead.
No arrests have been made so far in this connection.
State Municipal Affairs Minister Ashok Bhattacharya said in Kolkata that GJM supporters had carried out the attack on Tamang
"The GJM's goons have committed the murder. GJM is a fascist party, which does not want any opposition in the hills. They are opposed to a democratic atmosphere prevailing in the hills," he said.
"We are deeply concerned. The hills are very tense," said Bhattacharya, who hails from Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
Tamang, a vocal opponent of the GJM, had earlier levelled corruption charges against its chief Bimal Gurung. The GJM had then threatened to banish him from the hills.
Meanwhile, the GJM leadership have denied any hand in the brutal assassination of Madan Tamang.
Speaking to a TV news channel, GJM leader Roshan Giri said, “We are a peaceful movement. We don’t believe in violence. We have so far carried the Gorkhaland movement in a democratic manner.”  

Pictures that speak about today in Kalimpong Pix: Samten Kabo


  1. This is a sad day in the history of the Gorkhas. Why does our struggle for an independent state always degenerate into us killing our fellow brethren? Aren't we playing into the hands of the of the Bengal Government?

  2. This is a sure case of GJMM's conspirators specially Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri. Some Darjeeling folks witnessed the brutal murder with their own eyes and its been confirmed that the murderers were of GJMM.

    Bimal Gurung is the mastermind behind this murder. Goonda raj should end soon. People of Darjeeling has already shown their protest against GJMM even when they appealed to the people to remain the establishments open, janta shut it down till now.

    Please kalimpong, kurseong and all regions of the hills, show your support not for any political party but for humanity, peace and harmony by not supporting GJMM. They are a real menance in Darjeeling!

  3. this is all because of bledy bimal gurung...its none other than him bringing ashanthi in Darjeeling!!hE SHOULD BE THROWN OUT OF DARJEELING AND HIS DEATH WILL BE EVEN MORE WORSTLY THAN LATE MR. MADAN TAMANG