Bharati Tamang, widow of Madan Tamang, All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader, has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court praying for De novo investigation (investigation from the beginning) by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Madan Tamang murder case.
The writ petition was admitted by the Supreme Court on December 3.
The Supreme Court has sought responses from the Union government, state government, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and 12 other respondents within 4 weeks on the matter.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, justice SS Nijjar and justice Jasti Chelameswar admitting the writ petition (Criminal 159/2012) has directed the petitioner (Bharati Tamang) to issue notices to all 15 respondents and has further directed the respondents to file replies within 4 weeks.
"We have also made a prayer to the apex court to appoint a Special Investigation Team (SIT) so that fresh investigations can be carried out as the previous investigation agencies and the police have failed to arrest the persons named in the complaint and the FIR involved in the conspiracy and the murder." stated Bharati Tamang, talking to HT.
Bhrati Tamang has further pointed fingers at the government for allegedly trying to protect the top GJM leaders (who have been named in the FIR as conspirators) and also striking a political bargain with the GJM over the murder case.
On May 21, 2010, Madan Tamang had been brutally hacked to death in broad daylight at the Clubside in the heart of Darjeeling while overseeing preparations for an AIGL meeting.
The FIR lodged in connection with the case had named 15 persons including front rung Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders Bimal Gurung, Asha Gurung and Roshan Giri.
All three occupy key positions in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA - an autonomous administrative setup arrangement for the Darjeeling Hills.)
The case had initially been handed over to the CID. However the prime accused Nickol Tamang, a GJM Central Committee member, after being arrested by the CID on August 16, 2010, had managed to escape from the CID custody in Pintail Village near Siliguri, on August 22, 2010 and has remained untraceable till date.
On August 30, 2010, the CID had filed a charge sheet naming 30 persons and 61 witnesses in the Madan Tamang murder case. Many among them are still absconding.
On January 20, 2011 on the direction of the Calcutta high court the CBI took over both the Nickol Tamang disappearance case and the Madan Tamang murder case.
Later on August 27, 2011, the CBI had filed a supplementary charge sheet naming GJM youth leader Dipen Maley who had been arrested by the the CBI on May 25, 2011.
On October 11, 2012, 6 accused and arrested in the Madan Tamang murder case including Dipen Maley, Sudesh Rai Majhi, Asish Tamang, Puran Rai, Tilak Rai and Sunil Rai were granted bail by the Calcutta high court.
Earlier the Calcutta high court had also granted bail to other accused namely Subash Tamang, Prakash Chettri and Babita Ganguly on different dates.
Interestingly, Maley had contested the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration elections from the correctional home and won.
Bharati Tamang has accused the Central and state government of trying to protect the top GJM leaders who have been named in the FIR as conspirators.