Cellphone & video footage clue to killers – minister comes to darjeeling to meet tamang’s family

The Telegraph

Darjeeling, May 28: Sleuths probing the murder of ABGL chief Madan Tamang are relying on telephone numbers and video clippings to identify the killers.

Sources who are in the know of things maintained that the investigators started making headway after tracking down various mobile phone numbers.

They also said that a cellphone was also found at Clubside motor stand, the site where Tamang was hacked to death on May 21, but there was no confirmation from the investigators. “We are tracking a few numbers and the investigation is heading in the right direction,” a source added.

In fact, the CID team has already detained a dealer of a cellular service provider as some of the SIM cards had been issued from his shop. “The SIM cards seem to have changed hands and we are trying to verify who were using the cards,” an investigator said.

Apart from the SIM cards, police have also found a 32-inch long patang, a sharp weapon. The patang might not have been the murder weapon but investigators believe that they can locate the area where it was made. “Different places use different material, depending on the locally available resources, to make the handle of such weapons. The area where it has been made has more or less been identified,” said a source.

The police have also laid their hands on a video footage in which some of the members of the gang that had attacked Tamang can be seen. “We can see one of them chasing the ABGL supporters right till the end of the Clubside motor stand before retreating,” said an officer, refusing to reveal the source of the footage.

There are strong suggestions that the group might have come only to disrupt the ABGL meeting that Tamang was supposed to address. “Even though these people had an opportunity to assault other ABGL leaders, they did not. The leaders were seen running away. No one was hurt. The idea might have been to disrupt the meeting but on seeing Tamang rooted to his place someone might have hacked him,” a source said, claiming that it was purely his “personal view”. This, however, does not absolve the people of the murder charges, he added.

Investigators believe that they have “more or less” identified the group involved in the attack. However, they are trying to find out the masterminds of the crime.

“The CID is trying to gather as much evidence as possible before making any arrests,” said a source.

But amid the CID investigations, there has been a growing demand for a CBI probe into the murder.

State urban development minister, who arrived in Darjeeling today to express his condolence to the late ABGL leader’s family, said he would convey the demand to the chief minister in deference to the “wishes of the hill people.”

Almost all the hill parties, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, whose members are widely believed to have carried out the murder, have demanded a CBI probe, expressing their lack of faith in the state controlled CID.

Bhattacharya, who visited Darjeeling after more than two years, said: “Since it is the hill people’s wish to involve the CBI in the investigations, I will convey the message to the chief minister.”

The CPM MLA from Siliguri also maintained that people in the hills wanted peace. “The people of the hills wish for peace and want the law and order machinery to function properly. I have also asked the police to maintain law and order,” said Bhattacharya, who had represented the state government along with health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra in the first round of political level talks on Darjeeling.

Bhattacharya said he had come to Darjeeling only to offer condolence to the bereaved family.

“I have not come to indulge in politics,” he said, adding that the party leaders would meet Bengal governor M.K. Narayanan when he returned to Darjeeling on June 2. The governor is in Goa now.

Mohan Sharma, the general secretary of the ABGL’s trade union, while demanding a CBI inquiry iterated that the lack of security had led to Tamang’s murder. “Had there been adequate protection, the incident would not have taken place. It is only obvious that doubts over the state’s role in failing to protect Madan Tamang arises,” said Sharma.

The ABGL has, however, decided to hold a condolence meeting at the site where Tamang was murdered at 10am tomorrow. “Leaders of other political parties especially the Democratic Front would also be present,” said Sharma. Tamang’s family member have already constructed a memorial at the site where Tamang was hacked.


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