KOLKATA: THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday urged the chief judge of the City Sessions Court to issue a non-bailable warrant against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and 21 others in the murder case of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang.
The appeal came from CBI counsel Arun Bhagat after only 26 of the 48 accused presented themselves at the court for hearing in the murder case, despite the agency issuing notices at the residences of all the accused.
The 22 absent included GJM chief Bimal Gurung, his wife and Nari Morcha chief Asha Gurung, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri. Out of the total 54 accused, four have died while two are absconding.
Arguing that the hearing on framing of charges would not be possible without the presence of all the accused, Bhagat urged for issuance of non-bailable warrants against the 22 absentees.
The Calcutta High Court division Bench comprising acting chief justice Nishita Mhatre and judge Tapabrata Chakraborty had on July 19 ordered completion of framing of charges in the case before August 17. The 22 absentee accused are out on anticipatory bail and were required to stay in Kolkata while hearing of the Madan Tamang murder case was underway. The 62-year-old ABGL leader was murdered in public view on May 10, 2010 at Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling. His wife Bharati Tamang had lodged an FIR accusing Bimal Gurung of ordering the killing.
West Bengal police DGP Surajit Kar Purakayastha along with ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma and other top officials visited Darjeeling on Monday and met with district administration to gauge the situation in the hills as the indefinite strike in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts entered the 40th day on Monday. Apart from Bimal Gurung, senior GJM leaders Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri, Binay Tamang and Devendra Sharma were the other absentees. They made a written prayer before the court seeking to be represented by their lawyers.However, CBI counsel Arun Bhagat opposed the prayers, and sought arrest warrants against those absent.