27 May 2010
For hours on Thursday, Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) president Mr Bimal Gurung (in SNS photo) was holed up in the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club in a series of meetings; first with his party’s central committee and then with various block presidents of his party to take stock of the turbulent situation in the Hills following All India Gurkha League (AIGL) leader Madan Tamang’s murder. Emerging from these meetings, he spoke to The Statesman’s SABYASACHI ROY in a freewheeling interview. Excerpts:
Q How do you react to being accused of Madan Tamang’s murder?
A: I have been charged with his killing by the state government, whom we do not believe. So we are not taking it seriously. Do they have any evidence of my involvement? Let them prove it first, though I know they can manufacture evidence. They are very good at that.
Q Whom do you suspect killed Madan Tamang and why?
A: We strongly suspect the hand of the Buddha administration behind the killing. They are keeping an eye on the 2011 Assembly election so that the Left Front can try to make a comeback in North Bengal riding the plank of Tamang’s killing. The security arrangement provided to Tamang had so many lapses… it could not have been that these gaping holes in his security were overlooked…. the murder was designed to create chaos in the Hills and derail the statehood movement.
Q But how can the Left Front win an Assembly election riding the wave of protests in North Bengal over Tamang’s murder?
A: Miss Mamata Banerjee has taken over the popularity and programmes of the Left Front. So the Marxists are trying to raise emotions over the Tamang killing by saying the Trinamul is hand-in-glove with the GJMM to divide the state. This campaign, they believe, may help them back to power.
Q What if GJMM activists are found to be involved in the murder?
A: Let’s wait for the findings of the CBI (as demanded by Madan Tamang’s widow) and not depend on any report of the CID, which is state government-controlled. I suspect it is to erase evidence of the crime and to delay the investigation that a CBI inquiry has still not been ordered… Surely the state government will concede the CBI is better equipped to probe the murder than the CID?
Q But what if a proposed CBI probe finds GJMM men were involved?
A: Let us not cross the bridge before it comes.
Q After Tamang’s murder many of your senior leaders resigned. Why? And then what made them return?
A: They were forced to (quit) by a section of people (who misinformed them about the murder and who was responsible) over the telephone in the hours after the murder. They misunderstood and resigned. But when the true facts came to light they rejoined the party.
Q Are you saying the CPI-M is using the AIGL against you?
A: Absolutely! The AIGL is being used against us to destroy our movement. During the last tripartite meeting, we had staged a walkout, so the CPI-M has no alternative left but to divide the Hill people and make them fight against each other.