Phone conversations between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM) leaders and cadres intercepted by a government agency at the time of Gorkha leader Madan Tamang’s assassination four years ago indicate they were in touch to allegedly coordinate the attack, according to the charge-sheet filed by the CBI.
The conversations were intercepted on the day and the day before All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader Tamang was hacked to death in broad daylight at Upper Clubside in Darjeeling on May 21, 2010 while overseeing preparations for a public meeting.
The intercepts find a prominent place in the charge-sheet filed by the CBI on May 29, which was accessed by Hindustan Times.
A court in Kolkata recently issued arrest warrants for 23 top GJMM leaders, including Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri, and given the CBI 20 days to execute them.
According to the charge-sheet, the investigation “established that in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy and in order to fulfill their ulterior motive, the accused persons had communicated between themselves from the early hours on the date of incident i.e. 21.5.10 and even on the day prior to it…”
The charge-sheet further states: “In course of investigation, it transpired that the Intelligence Branch of the Govt of West Bengal was possessing the call intercepts of GJMM leaders and its cadres pertaining to 20.05.2010 and 21.05. 2010, i.e. day prior to the date of incident and also the date of incident.”
It added: “Using a SIM card issued in the name of one Suraj Limbu, (Roshan) Giri is heard instructing cadres to ‘come with lathis’. The cadres follow his instructions, keeping Giri in the loop at all times.”
GJMM student leader Kismat Chettri, according to the charge-sheet, informed Giri that: “The assault was very severe. Kainla, the person who accompanies Daju (Bimal Gurung), hacked him.”
The investigation also established that on the morning of May 21, 2010, Roshan Giri was in constant touch with Nikkal Tamang alias Nicol Tamang, a prime accused who fled from CID custody, and other persons named in the charge-sheet.
The charge-sheet said that on the day of the murder, Bimal Gurung was in Kalimpong with Dinesh Theeng, Devendra Sharma, Binay Tamang, Col Ramesh Allay and most of the top GJMM leadership.
“...His bodyguard Dinesh Rai alias Kaila, who had struck the deadly blow on Madan Tamang and killed him, was at Darjeeling town. Devendra Sharma and Dinesh Theeng were regularly getting updated about the progress of events during the attack at Darjeeling...," the charge-sheet said.
Experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi visited the office of the Intelligence Branch on May 21, 2011 and cloned the hard disk that was used to intercept the calls of the GJMM leaders and cadres during the relevant period.
The clone of this hard disk was sent to the CFSL in New Delhi for analysis and extracting the relevant files containing the intercepts of the phone conversations of GJMM leaders.
“On analysis of the ‘log files’ from the period 14.05.2010 to 23.05. 2010, it could be made out that the mobile numbers which were being used by GJMM leaders viz Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chettri and Pradeep Pradhan, were under interception on the date of incident,” it said.
The 23 GJMM leaders have been charged under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 150 (hiring, or conniving at hiring, of persons to join unlawful assembly) 506 (criminal intimidation) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.