Police start sou-moto case against Bimal Gurung, heads of schools and social organizations

1 Jun 2017

The Darjeeling sadar police have started a sou-moto case against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung and heads of schools and social organization for conspiring and promoting enmity and communal disharmony.
On May 30, Gurung had held an indoor meeting (evaluation meet) with heads of schools (ICSE, CBSE and government run) and various social organizations of Darjeeling to discuss the state government’s alleged decision to implement compulsory Bengali language in the hills.
During the meeting, the GJM president had announced closing schools and colleges of the hills for two days on June 1 and 2, as a mark of protest.
Cases under sections 120B, 153A (b), 505 and 34 have been initiated against Gurung and Roshan Giri, the GJM general secretary, Binay Tamang, GJM assistant general secretary, Ramesh Allay, the GTA deputy chief executive, Saroj Thapa, the GTA advisor and P.Arjun, a study forum member.
Police have also slapped cases against Joy Haldar, rector of St. Paul’s school, Peter Lingdamu, principal of St. Robert’s Higher Secondary school, Prem Pradhan and Jiwan Namdung both members of Nepali Sahitya Academy, Darjeeling and Pemba Bomzan, president of Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammellan among the twelve others.
Sources in the know said the cases started, related to spreading of communal disharmony and ill feelings. “Based on the language issue there has neither been a notification from the government nor a clarification was sought by any people. Political parties can do their activities. But government and even private schools instead of seeking clarification attended a political meeting and also resolved to close schools for two days. This means they (schools) are working as political functionaries,” he said.
Police also said that the West Bengal government on the observation of a High Court ruling in 2011 has issued a notification prohibiting educational institutions, teachers or students from participating in political rallies or activities.
A senior GJM leader refused to come on record but said, “Now we cannot even talk”.
The St. Paul’s school rector said he was taken aback by the FIR and case that has been initiated by police. “I really don’t know and am quite taken aback by the whole thing. Whatever I said on that day (May 30) was from my personal experience that learning different languages was good. I also said that since our school is governed by ICSE we had to await for a notification on the matter,” Haldar said.
Others named in the police FIR could not be contacted for their comments.
Besides closure of educational institutions for two days, GJM will also organize protest rallies from June 4 to 8 from Ghoom to Darjeeling town, which will coincide with chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the hills. In fact, the GJM president has said that he would lead the rallies on all four days wearing black arm-bands and inhibiting black flags. (EOIC)