Chances of Nickole in Nepal less: CID – Settlements around Pintail under scanner – ABGL alleges state-Morcha nexus in escape

The Telegraph

Siliguri, Aug. 25: The inspector-general of CID today ruled out that Nickole Tamang had escaped to Nepal, hinting that the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case might still be in the vicinity.

“We do not have any positive leads that he has fled to far-flung areas,” said P. Nirajnayan, IG, CID, when he was asked if Nickole had escaped to Nepal, Bhutan or Assam. “We are carrying out the investigation, some basic inputs are coming in and we are working on them.”

“Several theories and speculation about the escape are doing the rounds but we are waiting for a breakthrough. A reward was announced yesterday, and we expect some developments soon.” The CID has announced Rs 50,000 as reward for information on Nickole, a central committee member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, leading to his arrest.

As far as the investigation is concerned, Nirajnayan said, more officers have been included in the probe team, and two suspended policemen replaced. The additional director-general of the CID, Raj Kanojia, too, will come here tomorrow to join the investigations.

Nickole walked out of cottage 29 in Pintail Village, on the outskirts of Siliguri, on Sunday morning when a constable guarding him moved away to answer a cellphone with a fading signal. The other guard assigned to Nickole was having tea at that time and the suspect in police remand was without any escort for eight minutes, enough time to flee the complex. The CID had kept him at Pintail on Saturday night, flouting a government rule that says all undertrials in police remand must be kept in lock-ups in police stations at night.

Officers probing the escape said the areas around Pintail like Agam Singh Giri Nagar and Panchnoibusty were strong Morcha bases and it might have been easy for the fugitive to get shelter, food and money. “He escaped wearing a banyan and shorts and it would have been impossible for him to board a bus in that attire. He escaped without taking medicines for his diabetes and we are looking for people who might have helped him procure them,” an officer said.

The ABGL, whose leaders returned from Delhi today, demanded that the CBI be engaged in probing Nickole’s disappearance as well as the daylight killing of their party chief Madan Tamang in Darjeeling on May 21. Nickole has been accused of masterminding the ABGL leader’s murder.

With the CID still drawing a blank, ABGL leaders like Dawa Sherpa doubted the efficiency and sincerity of the investigating agency. “We had congratulated the CID when Nickole was arrested, but now we want an investigation by the CBI into both the escape and the murder of Madan Tamang. We have placed this demand before Union home minister, P. Chidambaram,” he said.

“We firmly believe that Nickole has not escaped but a deal had been struck between the state government and the Morcha. The state wants the Morcha to drop the demand to include the Dooars and the Terai in the interim set-up for the hills in lieu of Nickole’s escape. How could an accused otherwise just walk away from the fortified Pintail Village,” Sherpa alleged. He said the ABGL would file a writ in the high court, demanding to know how Nickole escaped from CID custody.

The ABGL leaders including its president Bharati Tamang met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram and representatives of the National Human Rights Commission in Delhi last week. Sherpa said they had tried to impress upon Chidambaram that they were not satisfied with the Centre only talking to one party on the Darjeeling issue.

“The home minister gave us a patient hearing and said our demand would be considered. We are optimistic about a change in the negotiation process,” said Sherpa.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s