Kalimpong: Rebel Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang on Sunday welcomed the National Investigation Agency’s initiative to probe cases related to the recent statehood movement in the hills.
Sources close to Tamang said he had hailed the NIA probe as he believed Bimal Gurung’s complicity in the cases would be established irrespective of the probe agency.
“We welcome the probe by the NIA. The NIA and the CID, which is also probing the incidents, must conduct a fare investigation and identify those involved in bomb blasts. We are in favour of peace and against any unlawful activities in the hills,” Tamang told reporters here.
Asked if the Centre was not trying to placate Gurung by initiating the NIA probe, Tamang said that was the interpretation of the media. “We are by no means against the involvement of the NIA. The probe has to be carried out in a right manner. Those involved in the bomb blasts and the death of a policeman (read civic policeman) in Kalimpong must get the strongest of punishment. That is our demand,” he said.
The Centre’s decision to involve the NIA in the hill cases is certain to rile the Mamata Banerjee government, whose CID has been investigating the hill cases. Given that the Tamang lobby of the Morcha is close to the state government, many were surprised by the rebel leader’s endorsement of the NIA probe.
“Tamang believes any fair probe by whichever agency will establish the guilt of Gurung in most cases. That is why he welcomed the NIA probe,”said a source.
On Sunday, Gurung also hailed the NIA probe. In a press release, Gurung said his party had consistently demanded a free, fair and impartial inquiry into the incidents of bomb blasts and killings, including the death of police officer Amitava Mullick in an alleged encounter on October 13.
Binay Tamang on Sunday constituted a 37-member working committee of the Morcha’s Kalimpong district unit, but no leader of note found a place on the panel