ABGL finger at govt role in hill set-up

The Telegraph

Kalimpong, July 27: The ABGL has accused the Centre and the state of using the murder of Madan Tamang to their advantage to bring the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to its knees, forcing it to accept an interim authority instead of the DGHC.

ABGL central committee members Pratap Khati and Trivuban Rai said if the Morcha settled for the interim council, it would conclusively prove the party’s role in Tamang’s murder. The ABGL chief was hacked to death in Darjeeling on May 21 and since then the Morcha has been on the back foot in the hills.

The ABGL leaders hinted that the government knew who was behind the murder and was using it to browbeat the Morcha into accepting the interim set-up.

“Madan Tamang was one voice which consistently opposed the interim set-up that the three sides were working towards, and that is why he was killed. Now all the three sides (state, Centre and the Morcha) are conspiring to force an interim set-up in the hills,” alleged Khati at a media conference here today.

However, the ABGL, its leaders said, would not allow the interim set-up to happen. “When the people could successfully foil attempts to bring the hills under the Sixth Schedule even after a memorandum of settlement was signed, stopping this (the interim set-up) will not be difficult. We will settle for nothing less than Gorkhaland,” said Rai.

The ABGL leaders also ridiculed Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri for terming the proposed set-up a “de facto” state. “How can there be a de facto state. Can there be a de facto wife? The Morcha has been trying to hoodwink the people by agreeing to the set-up while paying lip service to Gorkhaland,” said Khati.

Quoting from a release issued by the Union home ministry after Saturday’s tripartite talks, Khati said even the set-up being discussed is not the one proposed by the Morcha, but suggested by the Centre. “The Morcha is on the verge of settling for something which is even lesser than the DGHC,” he alleged.

“It required a woman in the shape of Dil Kumari Bhandari (former member of Parliament from Sikkim) to secure the recognition of Nepali as an official language of the country, it will be another woman (Bharati Tamang, ABGL president and widow of Madan) who will deliver Gorkhaland,” an ABGL leader said.

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