Bimal Gurung accuses West Bengal govt of political persecution
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Bimal Gurung accuses West Bengal govt of political persecution

Gurung has also urged the Supreme Court to not reverse the order restraining the West Bengal police from taking any “coercive action” against him.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2017 20:26 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bimal Gurung,West Bengal,Darjeeling unrest
Bimal Gurung, head of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha , speaks at a news conference during the 20th day of an indefinite strike called by GJM in Darjeeling on July 4.(AFP File Photo)

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung on Friday accused the West Bengal government of political persecution and urged the Supreme Court not to reverse its order prohibiting police from taking coercive action against him over a months-long violent statehood agitation.

Gurung’s counsel, senior advocate PS Patwalia, opposed the Mamata Banerjee government’s request to recall the top court’s November 20 order that protected the GJM leader from arrest.

He also demanded a CBI probe into the cases the police has registered against him.

“They are opposed to me tooth and nail because I am spearheading the agitation for a separate state. There should be a CBI probe and let the truth come out,” Patwalia said, accusing the State of fighting a political battle in the court.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for West Bengal Police, told the bench its restraint order had demoralised the entire force and cases of serious nature were registered against Gurung. He gave a list of 53 FIRs lodged against Gurung and said he was facing trial in another 24 cases as well.

Singhvi read out facts of the cases and said the GJM leader was involved in heinous cases such as murder and rioting. A 26-year-old police official was also killed recently during the Gorkhaland agitation that crippled the hill districts of Bengal for months.

“Look at what the state will feel. The state will feel that it is impotent as far as this person is concerned,” Singhvi submitted, saying details of the cases were not available with the court when the interim order was issued on November 20.

It was alleged that incriminating material like an AK 47 rifle, ammunition and bombs were recovered by the police from the activists during the protests.

Patwalia took strong objections to the state attack against Gurung and claimed that 21 pro-Gorkhaland activists were killed during the 104-day agitation.

The bench asked Gurung’s counsel to file a reply to the application of the police and posted the case for hearing on November 28.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 20:23 IST