THE HIMALAYAN BEACON SILIGURI NEWS BUREAU
SILIGURI, 13 JANUARY 2018: Gautam Deb, State Tourism Minister has said that Bimal Gurung is a fugitive and the State Government has nothing to talk with him. He said, “To us, he is a person who is on the run from the law. He is booked under several penal offences, even under the UAPA. he has refused to pay heed to the court issued summons. First, he should respect the law of the land and surrender.”
It may be noted that Gurung, who is the president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) had issued a statement to the press during his first television interview saying that he was willing to initiate a dialogue with the State Government on the issue of the separate State of Gorkhaland. Gurung who is in New Delhi after receiving respite from the Supreme Court which has debarred the State Police from initiating any coercive action against him. Hearing on bail in more than 350 cases is presently taking place at the Supreme Court and the final judgement is soon to be made by the apex court.
Gurung’s popular base has shrunk after his abandonment of the party as he went underground after being implicated in the Unlawful Arms Prevention Act (UAPA). Since then the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has been divided in Bimal Gurung and Binay-Anit factions. A majority of the party leadership and cadres have sworn allegiance to the Binay-Anit faction. These include Darjeeling Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Amar Singh Rai, Kurseong Rohit Sharma among many others. Still, political analysts believe that in case of Gurung receiving bail from the Supreme Court and returning to Darjeeling to pursue his political career, political equation in the hills may drastically change once again.