Punish Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa: GJM chief Bimal Gurung issues fatwa

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Punish Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa: GJM chief Bimal Gurung issues fatwa

Within 24 hours of West Bengal government's announcement of Binay Tamang as the head of the caretaker board of the GTA and Anit Thapa amongst his assistants, the absconding chief of GJM Bimal Gurung has issued a video fatwa against his former associates.

Within 24 hours of West Bengal government's announcement of Binay Tamang as the head of the caretaker board of the GTA and Anit Thapa amongst his assistants, the absconding chief of GJM Bimal Gurung has issued a video fatwa against his former associates.

In the clip, Gurung urged, "Punish Binay and Anit wherever you see them. This is my message to the supporters of Gorkhaland worldwide - punish them."

Hours prior to this, Binay had issued a statement urging support for Gorkhaland, "...will raise Gorkhaland issue in tripartite meeting. The dream of Gorkhaland can be realised through peaceful agitation and discussions involving people of the hills..."

The absconding GJM chief Bimal Gurung thinks that Binay and Anit have betrayed the people of hill. He claimed that when the state opened negotiations sans the main faction of the morcha, the one led by him, he had realised that Binay will be chosen to head the GTA. The primary target of the GJM chief was, however, Binay and Anit, who seemed to be gaining popularity amongst the hill people with every passing day of the enforced shutdown and blockade.

As to why suddenly Gurung adopted a hard line stance of urging supporters to punish Binay and Anit, it is probably because he fears a transfer of power. That Binay would take over the mantle from him and Bimal Gurung would become irrelevant in the politics of the hills. Another reason for frustration is that after being appointed as the head of GTA, Binay and Anit would be the official representatives, queering the pitch for the embattled GJM chief.

That Binay is leading the agitation in the hills, regularly organising and addressing meetings and marches is another cause of concern for the GJM chief. The response from the Centre had made it amply clear that Bimal Gurung would not be able to stop the elevation of Binay in the GTA.

Binay has a difficult path to tread as the head of the GTA. Many members of the GTA, including the newly inducted Man Ghising, are against the reconvening of the GTA and the upcoming tripartite talks on October 16 and are pushing for more deliberations on the issue. Unifying the diverse opinions within the GTA will be the first tough task facing Binay.

And what does Binay Tamang feels about the fatwa? He said, "The real leaders of Gorkhaland agitation do not issues fatwas from forests.... We are not the type that flees in the face of fatwas from anyone."