Mamata meets Gurung after CBI arrest warrant

Mamata meets Gurung after CBI arrest warrant

As trouble continued to brew over the possible arrest of top GJM leaders in the Madan Tamang murder case, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met GJM supremo Bimal Gurung on Wednesday.

Gurung described the meeting at Darjeeling, where the current status of the autonomous Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) was discussed, as a success.

Under the cloud following CBI’s indictment in murder of Tamang, who was president of All India Gorkha League, Gurung said he spoke about Darjeeling’s development with Mamata. “We discussed developmental issues in the GTA area, besides Darjeeling’s drainage system,” he said.

The Gorkha leader, who moved for anticipatory bail to save himself from arrest, dodged questions over the CBI charge-sheet naming him and other party functionaries. “All named in the charge-sheet are innocent,” he said.

Sources said Mamata’s primary focus during the visit to Darjeeling was to ensure peace in the hill region in the wake of the arrest warrants against Gurung and others and the hunger strike by Tamang’s wife Bharti.

The possible fallout of Gurung’s arrest also featured in Mamata’s discussions, sources added.

Mamata, who later in the day chaired a meeting of the North Bengal Development Board, also evaded questions on the arrest warrant.

“My intention is to see there is peace and development in Darjeeling Hills. I have not uttered any word against anybody. The GTA has always cooperated with the state government,” she told reporters.

This is the first meeting between Mamata and Gurung as relations with the Trinamool government cooled off over GJM’s tie-up with BJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources said Mamata was keen on holding the meeting, which took place at Darjeeling’s Richmond Hill.

Gurung was not originally scheduled to meet with the Chief Minister as he had planned a visit to Nepal. Developments in the last few days, however, prompted the GJM chief to change his itinerary and replaced party Secretary Roshan Giri at the meeting.

“The meeting does not signify a thaw in the relationship between the state and GJM,” a source said. “But the Chief Minister is keen on working out a solution as she does not want further trouble in Darjeeling.”

Gurung and others got temporary relief at the Calcutta High Court which stayed their arrests on Tuesday until it hears their bail pleas.

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