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Since 1st March, 1999
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Gurung & seven in arson FIR
- Two complaints on ABGL office and garage attacks filed
- Tailors off to Gorubathan

Darjeeling, Feb. 16: Bimal Gurung and seven central committee members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have been named in an FIR for “conspiring the incident” (sic) to set on fire a garage belonging to ABGL president Madan Tamang last evening.

While one car had been burnt, another had been partially damaged. The ABGL party office, too, had been attacked. In both cases the attacks had been carried out by gangs of 10-15 youths.

The superintendent of police of Darjeeling, Rahul Srivastava, said: “We have received an FIR in Jorebunglow against eight central committee leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha including Bimal Gurung (party president). The complaint says they had been conspiring the incident.”

Sources said the complaint was lodged by Bhim Rai, who was in charge of the garage on INA Bypass. Tamang’s house is under the jurisdiction of Jorebunglow police station. Other Morcha leaders named in the FIR includes Roshan Giri, Binay Tamang, Urmila Rumba, Alok Thulung, Ishamani Pakhrin, Puran Thami and Sona Sherpa.

The accused have been booked primarily under Section 436 IPC (arson), which is a non-bailable offence.

A separate FIR has also been lodged by Laxman Pradhan, the secretary of the ABGL, at the Darjeeling Sadar police station, against “Morcha activists” for the attack on the party office.

Gurung’s outfit however, has, denied involvement in both the incidents. Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha, said: “This is a conspiracy of the ABGL to tarnish our image. Madan Tamang was recently in Siliguri and we suspect that he plotted with the CPM to foment trouble in the hills. Right now the situation is returning to normal in the plains and these forces want to derail our movement.”

The ABGL president could not be immediately contacted as he is reportedly in Nepal to attend a family programme.

In another development, an eight member-delegation of the Morcha affiliated Gorkha Primary Teachers’ Organisation met P.A. Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker, to apprise him of the Gorkhaland demand. “We met Sangma at Shillong on February 13 and he has asked us to meet him again,” said Nirmal Rai, Morcha central committee leader and legal adviser to the organisation. The delegation also met a number of Assam-based leaders to mobilise their support.

All government offices in the hills opened today after the Morcha withdrew its indefinite strike.

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