KOLKATA: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has dispatched a three-member team led by deputy superintendent of police Amalendu Dhar to Darjeeling for collecting the FIRs lodged during the 104-day Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling. The West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID) is currently probing these cases.
Sources revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is preparing the notification for the official takeover of the investigation by NIA into the 12 deaths in alleged police firings in June and July, the four bomb blasts in August and the killing of SI Amitava Malik and the arms haul on October 13.
The MHA notification is expected to be released within the next few days.
While Darjeeling SP Akhilesh Chaturvedi said that they have already transferred the case files to the CID, the agency’s additional director general of police Rajesh Kumar said that they have not yet received any official communication. However, in the event of an NIA takeover the CID would cooperate in the investigation, Kumar added.
On the other hand, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung welcomed the proposed NIA takeover of the investigation.In a press release issued on Sunday, the GJM supremo said that they had repeatedly urged home minister Rajnath Singh for an NIA or a CBI probe into the incident. Gurung said that the West Bengal government has allowed and encouraged the real perpetrators to go uninvestigated by framing the GJM leadership as the culprit for all the offences.
According to Section 6 (5) of the NIA Act, 2008, the central government can issue directions to suo motu take over the investigation of a case if it finds it to be a ‘schedule offence’ or an act seen as a national security threat. According to Section 6 (6) of the same Act, the state government or any of its agencies investigating the case shall not proceed with the investigation and transmit all relevant documents and records to NIA.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the Bimal Gurung faction of GJM has links with the Nepali Maoists and the insurgent groups of northeast India.
Interestingly, both Gurung and Banerjee focused on the sensitive location of Darjeeling at the India-Bhutan-Nepal-Tibet junction to highlight the threat to national security for two completely different reasons.
While Banerjee based it for demanding more central forces to maintain peace in this strategic junction, GJM delegation led by party general secretary Roshan Giri met Rajnath Singh and demanded central probe into the acts of armed violence in the international border junction.