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Gurung accused of keeping councillors in forced confinement

Gurung accused of keeping councillors in forced confinement
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Darjeeling: The chairperson of the Darjeeling Municipality has alleged that around 5 to 6 councillors of the municipality have been kept in forced confinement by the group owing allegiance to Bimal Gurung, in order to bring about a no-confidence motion. She has further alleged that Gurung has been constantly pressurising the councillors of her camp to switch over.

Incidentally on May 29, a group of councillors along with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal faction) had marched to the municipality and submitted a memorandum to chairperson Prativa Rai Tamang. They had asked her to call a special meeting and prove her majority in the floor of the house. The memorandum was signed by 18 out of 30 councillors. The Tamang camp, meanwhile, had alleged that some signatures in the memorandum had been forged and 5 to 6 others were made to sign under duress.

Tamang had also lodged an FIR stating that she had been manhandled and was in hospital. Following this, the 17 councillors who had tried to stage a coup had gone into hiding.

"Out of the 17 around 5 to 6 councillors had earlier established contact with me. They had stated that they were misled and forced into joining the other camp. Now they are being forcibly held in a house arrest like situation. They are in trouble. I hereby appeal that nothing should be done forcefully. Bimal Gurung is also sending people to threaten councillors on our side. He is videocalling and sending messages, asking them to switch over to his side. They should not be disturbed in this way and allowed to act on their own free will. Within 8 days of the election result they have started disturbing the peace and tranquility," alleged Tamang while talking to mediapersons in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

Regarding the special meeting for the no confidence motion, she stated that she will consult the Chief Executive Officer and other officials and check up the legalities as per the Bengal Municipality Act on Thursday.

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