New Delhi: Restraining Gorkhaland agitators
from its proposed July 27 siege of a national highway, the
economic lifeline of Sikkim, the Supreme Court today directed
issue of fresh contempt notices to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
President Bimal Gurung and Assistant Secretary Bimoy Tamangon.
A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and A K Patnaik,
terming the defiance of its earlier contempt notice as "a
serious matter", said the fresh notices should be inserted in
the Silguri editions of the "Statesman" and "Sikkim Express."
The apex court asked the alleged contemnors to respond
within four weeks and said its earlier directions that there
shall not be any siege of the National Highway 31 would
continue to be operative.
The directions were passed after senior counsel P H
Parekh, appearing for the petitioner O P Bhandari, submitted
the two Gorkha leaders had refused to accept the notices
served on them even though the apex court had issued contempt
notices to them.
He submitted even while refusing to accept the contempt
notices, the duo had given a call for a fresh siege of the
Highway on July 27 in support of their demand for a separate
The apex court, while asking the counsel to state the
allegations in an affidavit, asked the petitioner to serve
this time the notice through the two newspapers. The Bench
hoped its earlier order restraining any blockade "would be
Meanwhile, West Bengal government, in an affidavit, said
it was finding it difficult to control the siege of the
highway as the Centre had withdrawn the three companies of the
CRPF earlier deployed at the place.
West Bengal government`s submission comes after the
earlier assurance given by the Centre`s counsel Wasim Ahmed
Quadri that it was willing to deploy additional forces if and