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Madan case bail plea rejected
- HC turns down prayer of Morcha 13 as CBI probe is still on

Calcutta, Jan. 29: Calcutta High Court today rejected the bail pleas of 13 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha members accused in the Madan Tamang murder case as the CBI probe has not ended yet.

Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee said: “The process of inquiry into the Madan Tamang murder case is still in progress. So the court is rejecting bail prayers of the accused persons at this stage.”

The accused persons whose bail prayers were rejected today are Suraj Singh, Nagendra Pradhan, Dawa Sangay Sherpa, Keshar Rai, Arun Moktan, Sanjay Tamang, Bhanu Rai, Kamal Sinha, Tenzing Khambachay, Amal Lama, Naresh Rai, Pravin Subba and a woman Morcha activist Sona Sherpa.

Another division bench headed by Justice Nishita Mahtre on August 7, 2013, had cancelled the bail prayers of five other accused in the case who had managed to obtain bail from a Darjeeling court.

The accused, whose bails were cancelled in August, were Kismat Chettri, Dinesh Gurung, Puran Thami, Alok Kantmani Thulung and Keshavraj Pokhrel.

Madan Tamang’s murder is the most high-profile political case in Darjeeling. The ABGL chief, who was at odds with Bimal Gurung, was hacked to death by alleged Morcha activists when he was preparing to address a public meeting on May 21, 2010, in the heart of Darjeeling town.

The CID was initially given the charge to probe the murder case.

But later, Calcutta High Court asked the CBI to take over the investigation.

The CID had named 30 persons as accused in the case, to which the CBI added one more name.

The main accused in the case, Nickole Tamang, escaped from CID custody on August 22, 2010. Following Nickole’s escape, the case was handed over to the CBI, which later submitted an additional chargesheet naming Morcha leader Dipen Mallay, who was also arrested.

Of the 31 Morcha leaders and activists named in the chargesheet, Nickole Tamang and Dinesh Subbah are absconding.

One of the accused, Dil Kumar Rai, was found murdered at Singla, about 30km from Darjeeling on December 28, 2011. Sangay Yolmo, another accused, is currently bed-ridden after being hit by a bullet allegedly fired during a clash and is paralytic.

Of the other 27 accused, nine have got bail.

The other 18 accused are lodged in jail in Calcutta as the case has been shifted from the Darjeeling sessions court to the court of the principal district and session judge of Calcutta civil and sessions court, following a directive from the Supreme Court. Among the 18, 13 persons pleaded for bail, which was rejected.

All the accused have been booked under IPC sections dealing with murder, rioting with deadly weapons, unlawful assembly and criminal intimidation.