Huge procession turns out at Tamang's funeral

Huge procession turns out at Tamang's funeral

The procession was taken out from Rhododendron-del, the residence of Tamang, at around 10 am.

The body was first taken to the AIGL party office at Laden-la road in Darjeeling and then, proceeded via Manebhanjan to Tamang's native village, Meghma, 30 km away from Darjeeling town, where the cremation would take place.

People from all walks of life, including teachers and school students, joined leaders and workers of the Democratic Front, the anti-GJM eight party combine which includes CPRM, AIGL, Congress and BJP, to pay their last respect to the leader, who has been called as "the first martyr for democracy in Darjeeling hills."

The silence was punctuated by slogans against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung and General Secretary Roshan Giri.

Adequate police arrangement was made to help maintain peace and law and order.

Inspector General of Police (North Bengal), K L Tamta, who is now camping in Darjeeling, told PTI that the people had spontaneously kept their shops and business establishments closed for the third day today as a mark of grief for the departed leader.

The GJM had also called a four-hour bandh to pay respect to Tamang on Monday.

The situation turned tense when some members of the procession uprooted GJM party flags from roadside shops and houses, Tamta said.

People were also found voluntarily taking down GJM flags from atop their houses which had been hoisted for the last few years following a GJM whip, the IGP said.

Members of the GLP (Gorkhaland personnel), a wing of the GJM, who used to control law and order including traffic rules, were noticeable by their absence.

Madan Tamang, who had raised a voice of dissent against the GJM, was killed in the heart of Darjeeling town on May 21 at a party rally.

The AIGL's chief death was marked by candlelight vigils and sparked off a spontaneous civil movement in Darjeeling for the first time against the high handedness of the GJM.

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