To contact us CLICK HERE
View Kalimpong News at
Citizen reporters may send photographs related to news with proper information to

Monday, August 23, 2010

Security protocols flouted, lapses in Nickole search too...Bharati in Delhi.blames state govt

EI,Siliguri, 23 AUG: A case has been filed against Nicole Tamang, the prime accused in the murder of All India Gorkha League president Madan Tamang, after he escaped from CID custody in Pintail village near here even as efforts were on to trace him.
"Nicole is yet to be found. All police stations in Darjeeling district have been alerted so that Nicole cannot escape to Nepal," Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Devendra Pratap Singh said.
He said CID officer Aniruddha Chatterjee and constable Arabindo Kumbhokar, who were in charge of his custody at a house used by the CID in Pintail village have been suspended.
A case has been filed against Nicole, a close aide of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung and a central committee member of the party, at the Pradhanagar police station, he said.
Bharati Tamang, Madan Tamang's wife and now the president of the All India Gorkha League, alleged Nicole's escape was a conspiracy by the West Bengal government.
Bharati, who took took over after the AIGL chief was killed in Darjeeling town on May 21, alleged the state government had a hand in Nicole's escape.
She has written to Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram in this regard.
GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri has alleged that the police tortured and killed Nicole in custody.
The GJM is observing a bandh since yesterday demanding that Nicole be produced in court.
Nicole escaped on the pretext of going to the toilet.
He was arrested on August 15 from the Kazali Bustee, 47 km from Darjeeling town and had been kept at the Pradhannagar police station.
He was taken from the police station to Pintail village for interrogations when he escaped.
Nicole's mobile phone was found near Madan Tamang's body.
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 22: The CID team that had Nickole Tamang in its custody apparently ignored several protocols followed by policemen travelling with an accused, leading to his disappearance.
One of the breached protocols was that an escort team given to the CID by the district police to guard Tamang was sent back when he was retained at Pintail Village overnight — another security rule that was flouted.
“After the court granted police remand, the CID team brought Tamang to Siliguri on Thursday to interrogate him. Over the past three days, they had taken him to several places, including Pintail Village, for investigation but brought him back to Pradhannagar police station where he used to stay in the lock-up at night. Last night, the team did not act according to rules,” Devendra Prakash Singh, the superintendent of police of Darjeeling, said today.
“The team kept Nickole with them at Pintail Village. I had no clue that he had been kept there and came to know about it only this morning when the message of his escape reached me,” he said.
According to senior officers, an accused in police custody has to be kept at night in the lock-up of the police station where the investigators are based. “During the day, they can take him out and move to places necessary for investigations,” a senior officer said.
The Darjeeling district police chief also said the CID team had no additional force posted at Pintail where Nickole was being kept overnight. Singh said the district police had formed a five-member team of a sub-inspector and four constables to escort Tamang if he was moved around.
“Yesterday, the escort team was sent back to Pradhannagar police station,” Singh said. Sources said around 9pm, the escorts were reportedly asked by the CID to leave Pintail and come back at 9am today. However, Singh said he was not ready to comment on the CID action. “Whatever has been done in this case (Madan Tamang murder case) was done in a combined manner and naturally, the issue of the escape, too, has to be taken up in a combined manner,” he said.
Even after the escape, neither the CID nor the intelligence officers searched the vicinity of Pintail Village. It was around 11.15am, more than four hours after Nickole was reported missing, that Singh, along with Siliguri additional superintendent of police Gaurav Sharma, visited Pintail.
Singh and his team inspected the area outside the boundary wall, particularly the site behind bungalow 29, where Nickole had been kept for the night. Police teams fanned out in the neighbourhood around noon, only to draw a blank.
“Policemen were standing on highways, braving the rain to search cars. Men in mufti were at New Jalpaiguri station and also at Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus, but none of them carried any picture of Nickole, who is not a well-known or a top leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha so that he can be easily recognised. Only a handful of policemen, most of them posted in Darjeeling, can identify him without a picture,” an intelligence officer said.
Role of CID questionable
KalimNews and agencies, 23 August:Nicole was brought to Pradhan Nagar Thana and kept in the thana lock up during the night time. For interrogation he was brought to Romm no 31 Pintail Village at Dagapur, Siliguri where CID had a room booked for their stay. On 21 August Nicole was with the CID till late night (1.30 am of 22 August). So the team decided to overstay the night and sought permission from the headquarter. Later he was allowed under strict police protection but there were only a SI and a constable for Nicole. The interrogating CID inspectors led by Ardhendu Sekhar Pahadi during the night contacted Niraj Nayan  IG1 headquarter at Sadar office Bhavani Bhavan Kolkata for permission with a promise that Nicole will be tied with a rope on waist and handcuffs but IG advised that it is against the law to keep Nicole with rope and handcuff but kept with strong vigilance throughout the night and it was followed .
In the early morning Nicole was taken to the toilet of 2 storied cottage where they were staying. Outside the toilet waited the constable to take Nicole back to his room.  SI  Aniruddha Chatterjee after waking up in the morning having morning tea was strolling in the verandah  while he saw the constable waiting. On enquiry it was found that Nicole was inside the toilet and had not been out for a long time. Both of them called on Nicole and tried to force open the door as there was no answer they came to the book of the room to find the window open. It is thought that Nicole sneaked from the window of the bathroom and jumped to the ground floor and again from there to the ground by crossing the wall.
CJM had ordered to keep Nicole in Police custody of Darjeeling Police station but he was brought to Pradhan Nagar without any permission and according legal experts it is breach of law. 
Poster in Kurseong
A hand-written poster signed by the Nari Morcha was found pasted at the motor stand in Kurseong today. The poster read that Bharti Tamang, Dawa Sherpa and Pratap Khati of the ABGL would not be allowed to return to the hills because they were “anti-Gorkhaland”.
Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang, however, said his party had not taken any such stand.
All three had left for Delhi about a week ago to meet top leaders in the government and. They have met Union home minister P. Chidambaram and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. They are scheduled to meet Rahul Gandhi tomorrow to discuss the hill issues.
Hill murder suspect vanishes Nickole missing from CID-held cottage
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 22: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader accused of masterminding Madan Tamang’s murder disappeared from custody this morning, bringing to light a string of lapses on the CID’s part.
The CID is yet to explain why Nickole Tamang had been kept in a guesthouse just outside Siliguri town last night instead of the designated police lock-up, or why its sleuths had sent their police escorts back at 9pm.
Nickole, 42, Morcha central committee member and “old friend” of the outfit’s chief Bimal Gurung, was arrested in Darjeeling on August 15 for the daylight killing of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League chief in the hill town on May 21.
The CID said he went missing at 7am from Pintail Village, a complex of 40 cottages protected by high walls that the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council uses as guesthouses.
D.P. Singh, chief of Darjeeling police who are backing up the CID probe into Madan Tamang’s murder, said Nickole was in the custody of a five-member CID team. “Around 7.30am, I was informed that he had escaped,” Singh said.
He said Nickole “might head for the hills or board a train or bus” and that the police and the Sashastra Seema Bal were watching highways, railway stations, the bus terminus and the Nepal and Bhutan borders.
The Morcha called an indefinite strike in Darjeeling district from 1pm today and said the hills “could be on fire” if the police failed to produce Nickole within 12 hours. It said it feared that an ailing Nickole may have “collapsed or died” of torture and that the police were hiding this.
CID inspector-general P. Nirajnayan was mum on why his sleuths had taken Nickole to Pintail Village and why they had broken the rules to spend the night there with the captive. The team, led by inspector Ardhendu Shekhar Pahari, had brought the accused to Siliguri on Thursday after a Darjeeling court granted the CID 12 days’ custody.
“Over the past three days, they took him to several places for investigation but brought him back to Pradhannagar police station to spend the night in the lock-up,” the Darjeeling police chief said.
“But yesterday, the team did not act according to rules and kept Nickole with them at Pintail Village. I had no clue... I learnt only this morning that he had been kept there.”
Nirajnayan said two CID men, sub-inspector Aniruddha Chatterjee and constable Arabinda Kumbhakar, had been suspended for dereliction of duty. He did not explain why the other three were spared, merely saying: “They (the suspended duo) were supposed to keep a watch on him.”
The police expressed surprise that someone could escape from the fortified Pintail Village, situated off NH55. “The whole compound is surrounded by an 8 to 10-foot-high boundary wall with spikes. Each cottage too has high walls,” an officer said.
“The Indian Reserve Battalion guards the sole entry point round-the-clock. Another 75-80 IRB men are billeted in the compound; they would have accosted any stranger.”
The hill council’s administrator, B.L. Meena, lives and works in one of the cottages, and the IRB occupies several. Some 20-25 of the cottages are now vacant.
The CID team had taken the hill council’s permission to spend Saturday night in cottage No. 29, sources said. Earlier, Morcha leaders often stayed in the compound and Nickole would have known the layout well.
Intelligence officials said the police began the search for Nickole only around noon, and that too without pictures of the accused, who is hardly a high-profile figure.
Drama label on ‘escape’
TT, Aug. 22: The ABGL today expressed “shock” over the nature in which a prime accused in a sensitive case could “walk out of the CID camp”.
Dawa Sherpa, working president of the ABGL and also a former IPS officer, said: “We are shocked at the state of affairs. We do not rule out the possibility of a well-orchestrated drama (to free Nickole Tamang). How could have he walked out of the CID camp, when he was supposed to be in a special custody? This defies all logic.”
The ABGL has also called a general strike across the hills on August 24. “We want him to be re-arrested as immediately as possible,” said Sherpa over the phone from Delhi.
The CPRM said the unfolding drama had given indications that there could be some “understanding between the Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha”.
“Nickole was arrested a day before the tripartite talks in Delhi. He was, however, not taken into police custody immediately. But when there was a public resentment, the CID sought his custody,” said D.S. Bomzom, a spokesperson for the CPRM.
“Again, after the Morcha indirectly hinted at leaving out the Dooars and the Terai from the interim set-up for the hills during a meeting in Darjeeling yesterday, we get to know that Nickole has escaped. There is enough scope for us to suspect that there is some understanding between the Bengal government and the Morcha,” he added.
Bengal urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya dismissed the Morcha’s charge that the police had liquidated Nickole Tamang.
“It is a baseless allegation. The Morcha is trying to create a propaganda in the hills to project Nickole, a suspected murderer, as an honourable man,” he said in Siliguri today. He demanded a probe into Nickole’s escape and sought action on the policemen. “It is a shame that a prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case could escape while being in police remand. We want an inquiry and action against the men found guilty,” said the minister.
Shanta Chhetri, the GNLF MLA from Kurseong, said she would raise the issue in the Assembly and demand action against the CID officers.
Morcha sees cell torture in disappearance- ‘Custody death’ & plot theories do rounds
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 22: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has alleged that police are trying to hide that an ailing Nickole Tamang died in custody.
Nickole, a diabetic with kidney problems, was unable to bear the grilling and the torture at the CID interrogation camp, the party said.
The Morcha has called an indefinite strike across Darjeeling district from 1pm today, demanding that the police should produce Nickole “alive within 12 hours”. National Highway 31A and tea and cinchona plantations have been kept out of the purview of the strike.
The police said Nickole fled from the CID interrogation centre — a DGHC guest house at Pintail Village near Siliguri — early this morning.
The Morcha has refused to buy the police story. Party spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri said: “Nickole Tamang was a diabetic, suffering from high blood sugar and kidney problems. We fear that Nickole’s body could not take the torture and he must have collapsed or even died. The police are probably trying to hide the fact.” On August 18, defence lawyer Taranga Pandit had told the court hearing the CID plea for police remand that Nickole was a diabetic and should be treated well.
Demanding that Nickole be produced alive, Chhetri said: “We have called an indefinite strike and if he is not produced within 12 hours, the hills could be on fire.” Traffic will be allowed till 6pm, the party said.
The Morcha claimed that it was virtually “impossible” for Nickole to escape from Pintail Village. “We were told that he was being guarded by 70 police personnel. How can an accused in such a sensitive case flee from a heavily fortified place? Had he been in Darjeeling, he probably could have fled but it is impossible for a hill person having little knowledge of the plains to hoodwink the police. In custody, an accused does not carry money or have access to facilities for communication,” said Chhetri.
However, Nickole was no stranger to the layout of Pintail Village, as claimed by his party members. He often stayed at the complex frequented by the Morcha leadership.
The hill outfit said it believed that Nickole was innocent. “That is why we did not protest his arrest. We wanted the law to take its own course,” said Morcha vice-president Pradip Pradhan.
“An accused sent to police custody has to be at a police station. What was he doing at the CID camp? The state government orchestrated the entire show to put our movement into reverse gear,” said Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang. 
Wife sees plot in disappearance
TNN, DARJEELING: Alleging police negligence and conspiracy against her husband, Nicole Tamang's wife Pema Tamang filed a complaint at Darjeeling Sadar police station on Sunday.
Nicole, a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) central committee leader, was arrested on August 16. He was produced in court on August 18 and the state CID was granted 12 days' remand for interrogation. Nicole was taken to a temporary office of CID in Pintail village, Siliguri, from where he escaped.
"I don't know what the larger picture is, but I think police and CID are hiding my husband somewhere. This whole story about his escape is not true," said Pema.
GJM supporters gheraoed the police station in the afternoon, claiming that Nicole was innocent. They also demanded that he be brought back alive.
Nicole's mother Bina pleaded with police officers to bring back her son. "I want my son back. I told police officers that he was innocent when they arrested him. Now, CID has lost him," said Bina.
Nicole, along with some other GJM leaders, is accused in the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang. His mother, though, refused to believe he had a hand in the killing. "My son is not one to indulge in wrongdoings and mostly keeps to his contract work," said Bina.
Nicole was involved in a case of rioting in 2009 during the height of GJM's agitation for separate statehood, say police officers. "I cannot say if he had a criminal record as I got posted here recently. But his name was mentioned in a rioting case in 2009," said Indrajit Thapa, officer-in-charge of Darjeeling Sadar police station. 
Hill braces for fresh spell of turmoil
Deep Gazmer, TNN, DARJEELING: Gorkha Janmuti Morcha (GJM) leader Nicole Tamang's escape drama has snowballed into a political war. And once again, the Hills people are scared of an unrest.
Soon after the news spread that Nicole had fled from CID custody,  Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) supporters started agitating in front of Darjeeling Sadar police station, blaming the state government and GJM for Nicole's escape. Within an hour, GJM activists staged a demonstration at the same place against the state government and made a more serious allegation that police had killed Nicole in a fake encounter.
Soon, the heat spread across the Hills and GJM supporters started holding rallies in several places. Posters came up, accusing the state of staging an encounter. The allegation turned into a strong rumour in the Hills.
Shortly before noon, ABGL general secretary Lakshman Pradhan directly blamed an "unholy nexus" between state government and GJM behind the escape of Nicole, believed to be the mastermind of ABGL president Madan Tamang's murder.
"The whole thing is but a drama of the state government, which is in cahoots with GJM. The escape was dramatised by police on the state government's directive so that the Dooars and Terai region can be bargained during the talks," alleged Pradhan. The ABGL leadership sent a written complaint against the state government to Delhi and called a 24-hour strike on Tuesday .
Within hours, GJM leadership came out with stronger charges. This was, in fact, the first time the Morcha broke its silence on Nicole's arrest. "He (Nicole) was suffering from various ailments. He may have died in custody due to torture or even been killed in an encounter. CID and police have come up with the escape story to hide their wrongdoing," said Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the GJM press and publicity secretary.
"How can Nicole escape when there are 60-70 policemen guarding him?" asked Benoy Tamang, GJM assistant secretary. "We demand that Nicole be produced alive within 12 hours, failing which our party will initiate political programmes."
"The state government wants to foil the tripartite talks, which have been successful so far. They first conspired the ABGL leader's murder and now Nicole's escape," said Roshan Giri, GJM secretary.
Nicole's mother Bina and wife Prema lodged a complaint at Darjeeling Sadar police station on his "disappearance". "The complaint will be forwarded to Pradhan Nagar police station from where Nicole went missing," said a police officer.
Police fear that the Morcha, which was cornered over the Madan Tamang murder issue, will try everything to gain political mileage from Nicole's escape. Police are more worried as three companies of CRPF that were deployed in the Hills were shifted to Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
Two cops suspended for fiasco
SNS, SILIGURI, 22 AUG: Nicol Tamang, the prime accused in the All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang’s murder, managed to escape from the Criminal Investigation Department's custody at Pintail village near Siliguri this morning. He remains untraced till the evening, though the CID and the police have embarked on an all-out search for the accused. Two police personnel who had charge of the accused have been suspended.
Nicol was brought to Pintail Village, a DGHC guesthouse, where CID had set up a temporary camp, from the safe custody of the Pradhan Nagar police station last night for interrogation.
And providing a queer twist to the escape-drama, the Darjeeling district superintendent of police, Mr D P Singh has confessed that he had been kept in the dark regarding the arrangement for shifting the accused.
Mr Tamang, a GJMM central committee member, was remanded in CID custody on 18 August. He was arrested on 15 August from the Pool Bazar area in this West Bengal hill town for the 21 May murder of Madan Tamang (file photo).
Sharp differences have come to the fore with the district police and the CID officials giving contradictory versions regarding the escape-sequence. While the IG, CID Mr P Nirajnarayan claimed that Mr Tamang had managed to escape around 7 a.m, the Darjeeling SP, Mr DP Singh told reporters that he had escaped much earlier. However, it has been learnt form the police sources that Mr Tamang had escaped from the CID dragnet around 4.30 a.m. under the pretext of using toilet.
The Darjeeling police superintendent, meanwhile, has said that he had no knowledge that the prime accused had been shifted from the police station custody to a CID camp at Pintail Village last night.
Mr Nirajnarayan said: “Two police personnel - Mr Aniruddha Chatterjee (assistant sub inspector) and Mr Arbinda Kumbakar (constable) were suspended as per the preliminary investigation report on charge of dereliction of duty.”
"The special SP, CID, Mr N Parvez, had already started the probe into the case. We would recapture him soon,” he asserted.
The Darjeeling SP said that an all-out attempt to re-arrest Tamang was underway. “We are keeping vigilance along the areas bordering Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan,” he said.  “If we fail to intercept him by tomorrow we would alert other police stations across the state and other states too,” Mr Singh said.
HT, Siliguri: Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leader Nicol Tamang, one of the main accused in Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) chief Madan Tamang’s murder, on Sunday escaped from police custody in Darjeeling district, triggering unrest in the hills. Nicol, kept in Pintail Village at a guest house near Dagapur in Siliguri run by the hill’s governing body Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) for interrogation hoodwinked the Indian Reserve Battalion policemen guarding him on the excuse of going to the toilet, Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Ranveer Kumar said. 

Alleging that Nicol has been murdered by the police on the instructions of the state government, the GJM called an indefinite shutdown in the three Darjeeling Hill sub-divisions — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — from 1 pm on Sunday. On the other hand, the ABGL threatened to launch an indefinite shutdown in the hills if Nicol was not nabbed within 24 hours. 
GJM spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chettri told IANS over the phone: “Nicol was ailing and he was under tight security so it was impossible for him to escape. We suspect that Nicol had collapsed because of heavy torture by the police and now to save their skin they have plotted the story of Nicol’s escape.”
“We demand that Nicol be presented before the people in good shape within 12 hours,” he said, adding: “All the shops and business establishment have been closed and the people have been urged to stop plying of vehicles from 6 p.m.”
ABGL general secretary Laxman Prasad said: “We have given 24 hours time to the police to re-arrest Nicol. Otherwise, we will call an indefinite strike in the hills.”
A section of ABGL leaders also alleged that to safeguard the GJM leaders, who had allegedly hatched the killing of Madan Tamang, the state government had stagemanaged Nicol’s escape.
Nicol, a close associate of GJM chief Bimal Gurung, was arrested from the Pool Bazar area in this West Bengal hill town for the May 21 murder of Madan Tamang.
The Darjeeling chief judicial magistrate’s court had remanded him to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) custody for 12 days. Several senior police officers, including the Darjeeling police superintendent and an additional police superintendent, have been sent to the spot to look into the incident.
“A massive manhunt has been launched to recapture Nicol, whose arrest had followed the recovery of his mobile phone at the spot where Madan Tamang was killed,” said Inspector General of Police Ranveer Kumar.
TH, KOLKATA: Arrested by the police six days ago, Nikol Tamang, one of the prime accused in the murder of prominent political leader Madan Tamang, escaped from the custody of the State's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Pintail village near Siliguri in West Bengal's Darjeeling district early on Sunday.
The incident has precipitated a fresh spell of political uncertainty in the Darjeeling hills with the leadership of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), to which Nikol Tamang belonged, calling an indefinite bandh in the three hill subdivisions from the afternoon, alleging that he had been killed in custody.
The agitation that began at 1 p.m. will be intensified unless the authorities can provide proof to the contrary within 12 hours, Benoy Tamang, assistant general secretary, GJM told The Hindu over telephone.
The GJM's major adversary, the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), has also threatened a bandh from Tuesday unless the CID authorities re-arrest Nikol Tamang by then.
Its leadership accused the “State government of being in league with the GJM” and described the escape “as a conspiracy.”
Madan Tamang was ABGL president when he was killed in broad day light in Darjeeling on May 21.
GJM supporters staged a demonstration in Darjeeling demanding an explanation on how Nikol Tamang escaped.
Morcha blocks Ghising path
TNN, SILIGURI: Driven out of the Hills more than two years ago, Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president
Subash Ghisingh was barred from entering Panighata on Sunday by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists.
Ghisingh had gone to Panighata probably to hold a discussion with Rajen Mukhia, the chief of the party's Terai wing. Earlier in the day, Mukhia had gone to Jalpaiguri to meet Ghisingh, but failed to do so.
Following this, Mukhia threatened to tender his resignation if Ghisingh did not announce GNLF's programme within a week. "The party has been defunct for more than two years and we are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with GJM's atrocities. If Ghisingh is not interested, what is the point in staying with the party?" Mukhia told reporters in Jalpaiguri.
It is learnt that Ghisingh was not at home when Mukhia went to meet him. So, after coming to know about the incident, he decided to rush to Panighata, where Mukhia lives, to appease him.
However,  GJM activists put up a blockade on the road to Panighata, forcing Ghisingh to return.
"Had I known that Ghisingh was coming, GJM would not have dared block his way," said Mukhia. 

Bharati blames state
KalimNews: Bharti Tamang, President of ABGL and wife of slain ABGL leader Madan Tamang  during a press conference in Delhi stated that three significant incident have taken place. The first is withdrawal  of CRPF from hills, the second withdrawal of the demand of inclusion of Dooars in the proposed GAA by Bimal Gurung and third dramatic disappearance of Nicole Tamang. It is purely a dual conspiracy of State government anlamped in the GJMM she claimed. There is nothing like law and order in the hills, Presidents rule should be clamped in the hills, she demanded.
Manas Bhuiya, Pradesh Congress President (WB) stated that ABGL leaders met him and he is also of the opinion that the Tamang murder probe be handed over to CBI.
Tamang escape puts Bengal Govt in dock
Pioneer, Kolkata: The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Government on Sunday faced a major embarrassment when Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leader and prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case escaped from what was considered tight police custody, early on Sunday morning.
He fled from a toilet in Pintail Village – a guest house of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council near Siliguri, some 600 km from Kolkata where he had been brought by the CID for interrogation.
Two police personnel – a sub-inspector and a constable – guarding him, have been suspended. Senior police officials have not ruled out foul play and connivance of some personnel in the escape.
Sunday’s incident not only comes as a shock for the Left Front Government but has also given an opportunity for trouble to resurface in the now subdued Hill region. The GJM, that had been low-key after Nicole’s arrest, took the opportunity to call an indefinite bandh, demanding immediate production of the accused. They have even alleged that the administration could eliminate him as he could speak some inconvenient truths about the role of the powers-that-be in the killing.
A “surprised” Darjeeling SP DP Singh later pleaded ignorance about Tamang being held back for the night at the bungalow. “He should have ideally gone back to police custody notwithstanding the fact that he was being interrogated by the CBI for the day,” Singh said, adding, “I am surprised by the incident and have informed the SSP.”
An alert had been issued on the Indo-Nepal border and a probe ordered into the incident, IG Law and Order R Purakayastha said from Kolkata.
The police arrested Nicole Tamang on August 18 on charges of murdering All
India Gorkha League chief Madan Tamang. The AIGL chief, who had emerged as a major challenger to the GJM, was murdered in broad daylight on May 21 at a Darjeeling market place where he was supervising the preparation for a rally. Nicole was reportedly seen by the eyewitnesses attacking the victim with a khukri.
The accused was absconding after the murder and was arrested from Kijaley village near Bijon Bari police station in Darjeeling and remanded in police custody for 14 days.
Bharati Tamang, wife of Madan Tamang, had claimed the Left Front Government had colluded with the GJM and arranged for Nicole’s escape in order to buy truce on Gorkhaland issue.
Politically subdued after the murder, the GJM bounced back on Sunday calling a Darjeeling bandh, “which may take place for an indefinite period if Nicole is not produced immediately”. GJM leaders suspected foul play as senior leaders did not rule out his being eliminated “to suppress the truth”.
Party leader Roshan Giri said, “The Government has to resolve the issue as the Hill people are asking questions on Nicole’s mysterious disappearance. Many revolutionary leaders have disappeared from police custody earlier – never to be found. Foul play cannot be ruled out.”
Nicole had been booked under non-bailable Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Two other bailable sections for vandalising public property and theft were also levelled against him.

Highways Today
Men at work repairing the road in NH31C near Mongpong
The road is now motorable after repair and sand filling of the gorge created by river Teesta
Landslide at Likhubhir (Originally the name is Linkhu bhir named after a road supervisor named Linkhu Lyang a chinese settled in India (Mother's father of Rongong's of Rongong Lee Kalimpoong)  who worked in constructing the NH 31A during the British period

Vehicles crossing the restored road at Likhubhir near Teesta on NH31A
Due to incessant rain level of  River Teesta rises

No comments:

Post a Comment