The tussle between Anit Thapa and Ajoy Edwards, two prominent hill leaders, continues to rage.
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration made public a notice issued by the Darjeeling district hospital, a day after the Hamro Party president filed a Rs 60 lakh defamation case against Thapa.
Thapa is the chief executive of the GTA and the president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha. Edwards is the president of the Hamro Party and an elected GTA Sabha member.
The letter issued by the superintendent of Darjeeling district hospital to Edwards on May 18 raised objections to Edwards allegedly holding a press briefing inside the superintendent’s office during his absence.
The health officer had also accused Edwards of creating a false narrative on the resignation of a doctor and linking it with the lack of specialised equipment at the hospital.
“In case you fail to state your position in a legally appropriate way, appropriate administrative and legal procedures may be initiated by the appropriate authorities,” the letter states.
The health official had demanded a reply “within one working day from the date of receipt of this letter….”
S.P. Sharma, chief public relation officer, GTA, made clear the reason for making the health letter public.
Sharma stated Edwards had not replied to the letter even after a week and sought to explain the rationale behind the defamation case.
“File a defamation case against GTA chief Anit Thapa and divert the issue. This is the background of the Rs 60 lakh defamation case,” stated Sharma.
Sources in the Edwards camp, however, said that their leader had promptly replied to the GTA letter on May 20 stating that as a public representative of Darjeeling Sadar (III)constituency – the hospital is situated within this constituency, it was his prerogative to visit the hospital.
The source said that in the letter, Edwards stated that the assistant superintendent was present at the superintendent’s office and that the press just asked a few questions which he answered. “These were non-specific questions and a conversation for the most part and not a media briefing,” the source quoted from Edwards’s letter.
Edwards had on Tuesday filed a Rs 60 lakh defamation case against Thapa for allegedly stating that the Hamro Party leader had taken a commission of Rs 30 from a water project.