Darjeeling, July 6: Senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders, along with “eyewitnesses” to the Sibchu police firing, today gave an account of the incident before an additional director general of police of the CID and decided to submit “materials” collected by the party to the investigators in a week.
Three Morcha supporters had been killed when police opened fire at Sibchu on February 8. Even though the Left Front government had initiated a one-man probe by the divisional commissioner of Jalpaiguri, the Morcha did not co-operate with the inquiry as the party wanted the case to be handed over to the CBI.
The Morcha, however, agreed to the CID probe on June 6 after meeting Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the party had faith in the investigating agency after the change of guard in the state.
Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang, vice- president Kalyan Dewan and another leader Norden Lama were closeted with the ADGP, C.V. Muralidhar, at Gorubathan in Kalimpong subdivision for about two hours today.
“Fourteen eye-witnesses to the firing from the Jhaldhaka area also met the police officer and narrated the incident. Our party leaders also interacted with the official and we have decided to submit our materials (read evidences) to the CID team within seven days. We will send everything we have to the CID headquarters in Calcutta,” said Tamang.
Asked about the “materials” in the possession of the Morcha, Tamang refused to reveal the details. “We have quite a few materials,” he said.
“We have given the names of all police officers and the magistrates who were present at the site and their role in the incident,” said Tamang.
The Morcha leadership claimed that another high-powered team of the CID would visit the area after a week as part of the investigation.
However, when contacted over the phone, the ADGP refused to say anything on the visit of another high-powered team. “Since the CID has taken over the investigation, I have come over to oversee the case,” he said.
On June 28, the special superintendent of the CID, Debashis Boral had also visited Sibchu, which lies on the edge of the Dooars and had questioned several people who claimed to have witnessed the firing.
The firing occurred when hundreds of Morcha supporters led by party president Bimal Gurung were on their way from Kumani in Kalimpong to Khunia. The procession was taken out to stake claim to the Dooars, which the Morcha wanted to be a part of the new state it had been demanding.
The marchers were at first stopped by a police barricade at Sibchu. But they tried to force their way through and allegedly attacked the security forces, including a lady constable.
The police opened fire and Bimla Rai and Vicky Lama died on the spot.
Nita Khawash, who suffered bullet injuries, breathed her last a few days later at a private nursing home in Siliguri.