Politician flees Darjeeling to escape Gorkha Janamukti Morcha activists

November 22nd, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri, Nov 22 (IANS) Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Madan Tamang fled his Darjeeling home and headed for Kolkata early Saturday to escape the ire of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) activists, who are cut up with him for his allegations against their party chief Bimal Guring, an official said. Tamang left his home at around 4 a.m. and then flew from Bagdogra to Kolkata, said Mohan Chhetri, deputy superintendent of police (headquarters), Darjeeling.

Airport officials also confirmed the development.

Tempers in the hills had risen after Tamang last month accused Gurung of compromising the Gorkhaland movement following secret parleys with state home secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty.

Denying the allegations, Gurung had set a Nov 7 deadline for Tamang to prove his allegations.

Once the deadline expired, the GJM leadership asked him to leave politics. The GJM also began demonstrations outside Tamang’s residence and brought out rallies warning him of “serious consequences” if he did not leave the hills.

The GJM alleged that Tamang had misappropriated public money, and even moved court against him.

As the GJM stepped up the heat, Tamang was provided police security.

During the heydays of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), Tamang had opposed its supremo Subash Ghising. However, he had managed to stay on in Darjeeling, disregarding threats from the GNLF cadres.

Tamang is the latest addition in a long line of anti-GJM political leaders who have been forced to leave the Darjeeling hills under pressure from the GJM.

Ghising himself has shifted base from Darjeeling.

The GJM has been spearheading a movement in the hills demanding a separate state.

The party organised indefinite shutdowns twice in the hills in June and July over its Gorkhaland demand, severely hitting tea and tourism - the bread and butter of the region.

A round of tripartite talks held in New Delhi to solve the problem has remained inconclusive.

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