Ahead of Gurung swearing-in today, bail to Tamang, other GJM men

As Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung prepares to take oath as GTA chief executive at Raj Bhawan Thursday, the state government is keeping its promise of releasing jailed outfit members.

Benoy Tamang was the first GTA member to be granted bail last week — a day after Gurung met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna on December 20. Several other Morcha leaders have also been granted bail.

Tamang was earlier proposed to be GTA chief executive but he could not take oath as he was in jail. He was arrested during the indefinite strike in August and more than 10 cases were slapped against him.

Ahead of the meeting, Gurung had acceded to keep the Gorkhaland statehood demand aside for now — a pre-condition of the government to release of GJM members.

GJM MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri said: "Benoy Tamang was granted bail on December 21 after the meeting between Morcha president and CM. The Morcha delegation was told that arrested leaders will be released soon. Since it is a legal process, it will take time."

While a group in the GJM is not happy with Gurung taking oath as GTA CEO, another group plans to accord a grand reception for which they have hired 70 vehicles to receive Gurung from Bagdogra airport on December 29.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, "Our people have suffered a lot. We will try to give them some respite now."

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