In a most undemocratic manner a team of CID officers from West Bengal have arrested three senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders from Gurgaon; Haryana on 22ndSeptember 2017 in connection with Bhanu Bhavan (Darjeeling) violence case. Mr. Dhan Kumar Pradhan, Mr. Tilak Chandra Roka and Mr. PT Ola have been arrested by the CID. All those who have been arrested had met Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh in Delhi on 20th September 2017. They have been arrested from sector 56 of Gurgaon in Haryana. As reported that they brought to Kolkata on transit remand.
Mr. Chandra Roka is the Chief Advisor of planters Associations, while Mr. DK Pradhan is the newly elected Municipal Chairman of Darjeeling Municipality. Mr. Ola is the former Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabhasad from Ghoom-Jorebunglow.
A five member delegation of GJM as well as Mr. SS Ahluwalia, MP Darjeeling, had met Mr. Rajnath Singh recently. Along with Mr. Roshan Giri and Mr. Swaraj Thapa, these three leaders too were a part of the team. During the meeting, the GJM delegation had raised the issue of Gorkhaland and the need for a tripartite dialogue to resolve the long pending demands of the Gorkhaland. The members had also sought immediate central intervention to end the indefinite strike.
However, as per CID sources, they had procured an arrest warrant against them. A warrant was issued against GJM chief Mr. Bimal Gurung, his wife Ms. Asha Gurung and six other party leaders including these three senior leaders in connection with the Bhanu Bhawan case, which was registered at Sadar police station of Darjeeling after GJM supporters clashed with police outside the government office on 9th June 2017.
Reports says that the GJM leaders have been arrested under sections 147-149 (rioting with arms and unlawful assembly), 153-153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 323-326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 332-353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant), 436 (mischief by fire and explosive substance), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and a few other sections of the Indian Penal Code. Sections of the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act (WBMPO) and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (PDPP) were also imposed.
The GJM recently saw a breach in its ranks after Mr. Binay Tamang, the party’s then chief coordinator participated in talks with Chief ministerMamata Banerjee. He was subsequently expelled by Mr. Bimal Gurung.
MASUM issuing this statement to express its serious concern regarding the continuity of onslaughts on the protests by the agitating Gorkhaland separate state supporters with heavy hands of West Bengal Government’s machinery denouncing the democratic and human rights doctrine. The gruesome killings at Darjeeling hills by the men in uniform from different hues and infringement of Constitutional rights of the populace is another major concern of MASUM. The hill of Darjeeling is under seize of Central Forces as well as the West Bengal provincial police for more than three months. On the other hand the government blocked internet services on 17th June 2017 and ban continues till date; which is clear violation of Article 19 of Indian Constitution.
Demand for Gorkhaland separate state is a political demand and having sanctity within the international conventions like Article 1 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights as well as our domestic constitutionality under Article 3 of Indian Constitution; thus the impasse should be solved through dialogue. The country experienced several agitations for separate statehood from its independence to till date and in almost all such instances the then provincial governments and union government tried to curb those movements by brute force but later gave in before the popular demand and new provinces have been demarcated within democratic set up.
MASUM wishes that sobriety will prevail over the West Bengal government and they will initiate a dialogue with the agitating faction of Gorkhaland movement without imposing any conditions and settle the issue under democratic and constitutional ambit of the country.