The West Bengal government on Friday contended before the Supreme Court that the protection granted to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung has made the state police "impotent", as Gurung faces 77 criminal cases relating to murder and rioting.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, orally asked Gurung's counsel to ensure that he would not involve in any more protests and agitations.
Gurung, represented by senior advcoate P S Patwalia, submitted before the bench that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was opposed to him. He sought a CBI probe into the killings of activists during the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland.
Senior advocates A M Singhvi and Rakesh Dwivedi, representing the state police, contended that the November 20 order passed by the apex court, restraining any coercive action against him, affected the morale of the entire force.
As many as 53 FIRs were lodged against Gurung and he faced trial in another 24 cases, the counsel said. They also claimed that several incriminating material like AK-47 rifle, live ammunition and bombs were recovered by police from the activists during the 104-day protests earlier this year.
Patwalia, on the contrary, termed the cases instances of political persecution.
The court, refusing to modify its November 20 order, put the matter for further consideration next week.