Darjeeling, Aug. 24: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has announced a two-day relaxation in its indefinite strike from tomorrow after the Darjeeling police chief assured the party that there was no foul play in Nickole Tamang’s disappearance from custody.
Even though the Morcha said a decision on the continuation of the strike would be taken on Thursday evening, indications are that it might be withdrawn following the assurance.
Nickole, a central committee leader of the Morcha and a prime accused in the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, had escaped from CID custody in Pintail Village on the outskirts of Siliguri on Sunday.
The Morcha had alleged that Nickole, suffering from high blood sugar and kidney problems, had probably died during interrogation and that the police were trying to hush up the incident by claiming that he had escaped from the camp. Bimal Gurung’s outfit had called an indefinite strike across the hills from Sunday, demanding that the police produce Nickole “in the flesh” within 12 hours.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: “We met the superintendent of police today and he has confidently assured us that there has been no foul play in the incident. We take his words as the truth and have now decided to relax the indefinite strike for two days starting from tomorrow. The police chief has also admitted that there was a security lapse.”
Although markets, offices and schools are set to reopen from tomorrow morning, the Morcha has not lifted its strike in the offices of the DGHC across the hills as part of its ongoing non-cooperation movement against the state.
The Morcha leadership has also written to Union home minister P. Chidambaram, minister of state for home Ajay Maken, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
“We have also sent a fax to railway minister Mamata Banerjee and Union home secretary G.K. Pillai, apprising them of the disappearance of Nickole Tamang,” said Giri.
The superintendent of police of Darjeeling, D.P. Singh, admitted that the Morcha delegation had met him and that he had assured the leaders there was no foul play.