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Bail for GTA six in all cases

Darjeeling, Jan. 27: Six elected GTA Sabha members and a Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha leader who had been slapped with several charges in connection with the latest round of the Gorkhaland movement were granted bail in the last case by a court today.

With the relief for the six, all 10 GTA members who were put in jail last year have got bail in every case. The release of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders from jail comes on the heels of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the hills last week.

Today, Swadesh Ranjan Ray, additional district judge (second court), granted bail to Anit Thapa, who represents Kurseong-Giddepahar in the GTA, Yogendra Rai (Kurseong town-Deorali), Anoosh Thapa (Tung-St. Mary’s), Pranay Thapa (Pankhabari-Ambootia-Longview), Arun Sinji (Soureni) and Mahendra Pradhan (Sonada-Pachen). Pasang Tamang, the general secretary of the Yuva Morcha (Kalimpong subdivision), was also granted bail.

All the seven had been granted bail in several other cases registered during the agitation. Freedom had been eluding them because of the case related to an alleged attempt to burn down Rimbick forest bungalow on August 2. The court granted bail to the seven on a bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety.

Seshmani Gurung, defence lawyer, said: “We moved bail and argued that since the chargesheet in the case has already been submitted to the court and there is no need for further investigation, their detention in custody was no longer required.”

Binay Tamang, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha assistant secretary and a GTA member, welcomed the bail for the seven. Although Tamang had been granted bail in all cases and released from jail last month, he has been staying away from office as other GTA members were still in prison. “I will now start attending my GTA office from January 30,” Tamang said today.