The outrage over a phone call, that allegedly took place between one Mr. Achutam Bhattarai and Mr. Saumyajit Roy IC Sadar Police station, Darjeeling has reached the corridors of power in Delhi, with Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia writing to the Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, seeking their “immediate intervention” in the matter.
In a strongly worded letter, the MP has written to the WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi calling upon her to “urgently intervene with regard to case of outrage of woman’s modesty’..
In the letter, the MP has quoted the controversial call, and has asked the Minister to constitute a team of National Commission for Women officials to visit Darjeeling, and to initiate a suo moto case against Darjeeling IC Saumyajit Roy..
The letter, a copy of which was sent to the Press reads…
“On behalf of my constituents, I humbly request you to kindly order a NCW inquiry and proceedings into this matter at the earliest, and to initiate a suo moto case against Darjeeling IC Saumyajit Roy. Such behavior attitude and acts by those expected to uphold the law and the constitution, has led to the people of Darjeeling losing their faith in the Police, and it becomes incumbent upon the Government of India to ensure that the situation is rectified immediately. A team of NCW officials should visit Darjeeling District immediately to look into this matter, as well as other complaints by women similarly targeted for supporting the NDA ally Shri Bimal Gurung and his party GJM, as it would help bring out the truth, as well as rebuild the faith women need to have in our Society and our Government, and our ability to protect them from such element.” [sic]
In a similarly worded letter, the Member of Parliament from Darjeeling has asked the Home Minister Rajnath Singh to order National Investigation Agency to probe all the cases filed against GJM cadres since the beginning of agitation for Gorkhaland since June of 2017.
The letter, reads…
“Citing various acts of arson and violence, the West Bengal Police has booked NDA ally GJM’s Chief Bimal Gurung and hundreds of his followers under UAPA and other sections. The FIR’s also include ‘over 5000-7000 unnamed others‘ , allowing for willful inclusion of anyone and everyone at any time in these cases. Hence, given the confession by IC Darjeeling, caught on tape, it is imperative that all these cases filed in relation to the Darjeeling Bandh call from June 2017, be investigated by an independent agency such as the NIA, since the local law enforcement agencies under the control of West Bengal government seem to be the ones perpetrating such acts.
On behalf of my constituents, I humbly request you to kindly order a NIA inquiry into this matter at the earliest, and to instruct the NIA to initiate a suo moto case against Darjeeling IC Saumyajit Roy, and such Police Officials who are responsible for maintaining law and order, but instead seem to be spreading terror thus.” [sic]
Reacting to the incident, Chairman GTA Board of Administration Binoy Tamang had yesterday issued a press release, which stated that the audio clip is fake.
“A high-level inquiry will take place into the circulated audio clip purportedly held between one person and the IC of Darjeeling Sadar Police Station. Preliminary inquiry suggests that it is false and baseless. If there is truth in the recording, the concerned person can file a complaint for hurting sentiments of a community and for using indecent words…” read the statement, which was signed ‘Gorkha Janata’.
While the Bengal and Darjeeling district administration have maintained complete silence over the matter, New Indian Express has quoted a top police official as saying, “[it’s a ] social media hullabaloo… People are investigating the case on Facebook.” On similar lines, Darjeeling SP was quoted by Indian Express as having said, “The audio clip is being spread through social media. We have not received any complaint.”
Yesterday, however the family members of Achutam Bhattarai, accompanied by a social worker Reseeka Chettri called a Press conference and alleged that Darjeeling police refused to accept their FIR
In further development, a Delhi based organization Gorkhaland Sanyukta Sangarsh Samiti (GSSS) released a screen shot, which shows that their letter to the MCD Minister seeking her intervention, was been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affair, with the following note, “It is requested that appropriate urgent necessary action may please be taken in the matter.”
When asked on absolute silence from the administration, one senior journalists who is covering Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Darjeeling hills said, “Hope Mamata says something on this today.”
Will the Chief Minister order a probe into the matter, or will she let the storm pass is a moot question – the hills are now awaiting action from the Union Home Ministry.