New Delhi: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung on Thursday claimed in the Supreme Court that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was trying to break his party to finish the movement for a separate Gorkhaland.
The apex court said the movement was one thing, but no one can be allowed to take law into his own hand. Gurung told a bench comprising justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that he has been framed in several fake cases and if allowed to surrender, then he will be in jail for a decade and entire movement will be finished.
He sought handing over of the probe to a central agency like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA) and claimed to have a video showing the state police planting an AK-47 rifle in his house. “There are difference of opinion between me and chief minister of West Bengal. Effort is being made to break my party and pop up a new leader. If today I am given to the police, then I will be in jail for another decade and the whole movement will be finished," senior advocate P.S. Patwalia, appearing for Gurung, said.
He claimed that movements for separate states were occurring “everywhere and new states are being carved out". Patwalia said if the impression goes out that “I have been treated unfairly and wronged, then this would create more unrest in Darjeeling and hence these case be referred to CBI.
He said that recently, multiple FIRs lodged by West Bengal police over violence in hills have a pattern and have same mistakes, same language and same format. “These are all fake FIRs have showing a possibility of frame-up," the senior advocate said adding that main flash point of confrontation was that the GJM had opposed the state government’s move to make the Bengali language mandatory in schools in West Bengal. “This is a big issue in hills and the people were opposed to it," Patwalia said.
The hearing remained inconclusive and the bench listed the matter for 4 December. On 28 November, the apex court was told by Gurung that the Police had lodged false cases against its members to pressure them and suppress their movement for a separate Gorkhaland state. However, the state police had maintained that Gurung was absconding, not cooperating in the probe of cases lodged against him and playing “blatant politics".
The state police has claimed that Gurung was facing trial in 23 cases and several other criminal cases were also registered against him. It had said that several serious incidents had taken place under Gurung’s leadership and a 26-year-old police official was also killed during the recent Gorkhaland agitation. The charges were refuted by Gurung, who said that a total of 104 FIRs have been lodged against him and other GJM members by the West Bengal Police and the state government had made him a fugitive.
Referring to the application filed by state police seeking vacation of the apex court’s 20 November order restraining it from taking any coercive step, Gurung had claimed that incorrect statements were made in the plea. Centre had however maintained its stand that it would follow the order passed by the apex court in the matter. The GJM leader had earlier claimed in the apex court that he was being politically persecuted by the state government and had sought a probe by the NIA or CBI in the killings of several Gorkhaland activists during the recent agitation for a separate state.
West Bengal Police had told the court that the order restraining it from taking any coercive steps against Gurung should be vacated, as the morale of the entire force was down since there were several cases of serious nature against him.
The GJM central committee had recently suspended Gurung for six months and appointed Binay Tamang as the party’s new president. Gurung had approached the top court seeking an independent probe into the alleged killings of Gorkhaland supporters during the recent protests.