Kolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha and several senior leaders of the hill outfit surrendered before a city court on Tuesday which granted them bail in connection with the murder of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.
Gurung and 17 others surrendered before the chief judge, city sessions court, Subhra Ghosh as per direction of the Calcutta High Court which had granted them anticipatory bail.
Gurung, who is also the chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling, his wife Asha, Deputy Chief Executive of GTA Col Ramesh Allay and 15 others were given bail on a bond of Rs 10,000 each by the chief judge.
A division bench comprising justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee had on December 14 granted anticipatory bail plea to 22 persons accused in the murder of Tamang and directed the petitioners to surrender before the chief judge of city sessions court here by December 21.
The high court had directed that charge should be framed in the murder case by February 1, 2017 before the designated CMM court here.
The bench also directed that all accused should be present in Kolkata, a day before the framing of charge against them and none of them would be able to leave the jurisdiction of city court without the court's leave till disposal of the trial.
Tamang was hacked to death in Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting. The CBI had on May 29, 2015 filed a charge sheet against the GJM leaders under IPC sections for murder and criminal conspiracy in the Tamang case.
The investigating agency had filed the final supplementary charge sheet before the court against Gurung, his wife Asha, former GJM leader Harkabahadur Chettri, GJM Assistant General Secretary Binoy Tamang, Pradeep Pradhan, Deputy Chief Executive of GTA Col Ramesh Allay and 17 others for criminal conspiracy, murder and other charges.
Prime accused in the case Nickol Tamang had, however, disappeared from Pintail village near Siliguri, in August 2010 where he was being held by the state CID for interrogation following his arrest.
Pema Tamang, wife of Nickol, had moved a Habeas Corpus petition before the Calcutta High Court praying that her husband be traced.
The high court had then directed the CBI to take up the Madan Tamang murder case and the Nickol Tamang disappearance case.
Tamang's widow Bharati had later moved the Supreme Court seeking early completion of investigation and arrest of the accused persons.