Top Gorkha League leader says GJM tried winning him over with money

DARJEELING
22 Nov 2016

All India Gorkha League (AIGL) vice president Laxman Pradhan, the main complainant in the Madan Tamang murder case, today lodged an FIR in the sadar police station against a senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader and a prominent writer accusing them of trying to bribe him into joining the Morcha.

On May 21, 2010 AIGL president Madan Tamang was hacked to death in broad daylight at the Upper Clubside area while overseeing preparations for the party’s public meeting. In his FIR, filed on the same day, Pradhan named 14 GJM leaders and activists, including party president Bimal Gurung, saying they were involved in the murder. Today, the AIGL vice president alleged that GJM study forum member D K Pradhan had called him on October 20 last month for a conversation, and also said noted local writer Jiban Labar too had met him over a cup of tea in a hotel and tried to talk him into joining the GJM.

“A lot of pressure is being created on me to join the GJM. D.K. Pradhan had called me to discuss the Gorkhaland issue, but I declined. Likewise, Jiban Labar also called me on November 8 saying he wanted to talk to me for a few minutes. However, I could only meet him the next day in a hotel where I had been invited for tea. And during the course of our conversation, Labar persuaded me to join the GJM and said Bimal Gurung was willing to meet me at Patleybas. But I did not go,” claimed the AIGL leader at a press briefing. “Apprehensive of the times to come and following advice from my party colleagues, I have lodged a complaint against D K Pradhan and Jiwan Labar. I have also forwarded a copy of the complaint to the DIG and joint director, CBI, and also to the IO, P Paul,” said Pradhan.

The AIGL vice president also said he has received numerous anonymous threat letters since the murder of Tamang and he has already lodged a complaint with the police on the matter. “I believe these threats have been issued by those involved in our party president’s murder to intimidate me as I the main complainant,” said Pradhan. He also revealed that a local resident of influence and a GJM sympathiser had tried to lure him with money. “I was told by this person that the GJM president has chosen me for jointly fighting for the statehood demand. And that Gurung was willing to hand me a contract work worth Rs 4 crore with an advance payment assured if I joined him,” alleged Pradhan, adding in hindsight that perhaps his inactiveness in politics of late due to poor health was the reason behind the manipulation attempt.

Meanwhile, Labar refuted the allegation as totally false even as he admitted about meeting the AIGL vice president over a cup of tea. He said he had a healthy personal relation with Pradhan. “I have a good relation with him and so it is not unusual to have tea together. I have never tried to influence him into joining any party. During our conversation I only talked about things I was hearing, such as of him joining the GJM and what his thoughts were in this regard,” said the writer when this correspondent contacted him. Labar reasoned that being a writer and a resident of a small town such as Darjeeling, he maintained relations with all political persons. He made a counter allegation against Pradhan, saying that during the course of their conversation, the latter had spoken ill about the AGIL party and its leaders. “If I reveal what he said about the AIGL and its policies and about its leaders including the present president, Pradhan will be put to shame. His making baseless allegations only highlights his inexperience in politics,” the writer said.

On the other hand, D K Pradhan refused to comment, saying the whole issue was not worth wasting time on. However, GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said it was a conspiracy to malign the party's image. “He (Laxman Pradhan) must provide evidence if he is telling the truth. The entire issue is nothing but a well thought out plan to spoil the image of the GJM. If he says he was influenced in October and earlier this month, why has he chosen to lodge a complaint only now? If we wanted to buy him out, we would have done so long ago,” he said. (EOIC)