VIDEO BY PRAVIN THAMI
TEXT BY BARUN ROY
I was always suspicious of Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung, Pravin Subba and Dipen Malay. Now I am convinced all violence was perpetrated directly under their instruction from the Patleybas office’ – Jyoti Kumar Rai
DARJEELING, 15 NOVEMBER 2017: In what can be said to be one of the greatest setback for Bimal Gurung in his bid for retaining support in the hills, Jyoti Kumar Rai, the assistant secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a member of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Sabha and in-charge of the Fisheries department has not just come out in support for Binay Tamang -Anit Thapa faction of the GJM, he has also named names and said that he is convinced that violence was being perpetrated under the direct instructions of the Bimal Gurung and as such he has chosen to support Binay-Anit faction of the party.
What is notable is the fact that Rai was address the media for the second time. He had done so on the 9th of November saying that he was pledging his support for Binay-Anit faction saying that he was against violence and that he believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had betrayed the Gorkhas. (See our report on 9th of Nov. 2017) In today’s briefing Rai came up with names of many leaders and cadres who he said were involved in violence.
During the press conference Rai said that he had pledged his support for Binay-Anit faction on the 9th of November 2017 due mainly to their devotion to non-violence and democracy.He said, “I began to feel very uneasy right from the 8th of May when the Chief Minister had her Cabinet Meeting at the Raj Bhawan. A peaceful dharna had been organised. However, the dharna went astray when the meeting (of GJM leadership) moved inside Gorkha Rangamanch. Stones were pelted at the police and many policemen were injured. I felt very disheartened. Public property were burnt. I condemn it. I never liked violence. During the indefinite strike a number of offices were burnt. I condemn them all. There was a bomb blast at Darjeeling Motor Stand. Another bomb blast at Kalimpong led to the death of a civic police. We were all really wondering as to who were involved in these bomb blasts. I used to frequent Patleybas office. There were some leaders who lived their permanently. These included Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung, Pravin Subba and Dipen Malay. I was always suspicious of these leaders as to whether all the violence that were being perpetrated were being perpetrated under their direct instruction. But later when Sachin Gurung and Pukar from Pokhriabong came to the media and revealed as to who were instructing them in violent activities, I too was convinced that the violence was being perpetuated in the hills under the direct instruction of these four people – Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung, Pravin Subba and Dipen Malay from Patleybas. I am a peaceful man who believe in non-violence and as such condemn these acts and once again express my support to Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa.”
Pravin Thami is the Chief Cameraman and the Coordinator Darjeeling Region for ‘The Himalayan Beacon’.