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Supreme Court restrains Bengal police against GJM founder Bimal Gurung

The embattled founder president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha who has been on the run for over four months can now breathe easy for two weeks.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2017 21:18 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Darjeeling
Supreme Court,Restraint order,Bimal Gurung
The Supreme Court order means the West Bengal Police cannot take any action immediate against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha founder Bimal Gurung who has been named in 122 FIRs.(HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the West Bengal police from taking any “coercive action” against Bimal Gurung, the fugitive founder president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha who was removed from the post by the rival Binoy Tamang faction earlier in the day.

Gurung and some of his aides went underground more than four months ago after the Bengal police slapped cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They are suspected to hiding somewhere in Sikkim.

Gurung invoked the extra-ordinary jurisdiction of the top court and sought protection from arrest and also an independent investigation against the alleged executions and extrajudicial methods the West Bengal government has adopted to suppress the democratic protests by the GJM for a separate Gorkhaland state in the Darjeeling hills.

“Issue notice, returnable in two weeks. In the meantime, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner,” a bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said in an order while seeking state’s response. Gurung was represented by senior advocate Harish Salve.

Read more: Gorkhaland row: Gurung and his men suspended from GJM, Tamang takes over as new president

Astha Sharma, advocate on record (AOR) in Supreme Court who had filed the writ petition on behalf of Gurung told Hindustan Times that 122 FIRs were filed against him. The court order means Gurung will have protection in all these cases.

Gurung claimed “false cases are being lodged against the GJM members.” He said an independent agency must investigate the extra judicial killings of supporters of the Gorkhaland movement.

“Such direction is sought in light of the standoff between the Government of West Bengal and the members and supporters of GJM, wherein illegal, overt and perverse steps have been taken by the State agencies in order to quell the democratic and peaceful movement by GJM,” Gurung’s petition said.

“Innocent protestors have chosen to peacefully express their desire for a separate state of Gorkhaland comprising the hills of Darjeeling, Dooars and Siliguri Terai. But the state has victimised them and foisted false cases against them,” the petition said.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 21:18 IST