Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) vice-chairman Anit Thapa (left) with Kalimpong Municipality chairman Ravi Pradhan, who was attacked on Friday night Credit: File image

Kalimpong: Internal rivalry within the Binay Tamang group of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has come to the fore once again after Kalimpong Municipality chairman Ravi Pradhan was attacked by his fellow party man and municipal councillor Kunal Pradhan late on Friday night.

While Ravi Pradhan is the councillor for Ward 3, Kunal Pradhan represents Ward 1. A case has been registered against the latter by Ravi Pradhan’s bodyguard, who was also injured in the attack.

The incident took place near the heart of Kalimpong town in Dambar Chowk. Speaking to the media, Ravi Pradhan said, “We had a meeting at Shyamadevi Bhawan regarding the beautification of our town. We wanted to get all the buildings along the main road to be painted with the same colour. After the meeting was over, I was with my guard. As we reached Dambar Chowk, Kunal Pradhan attacked me without any provocation. While trying to protect me, my bodyguard got injured. He has filed a police complaint against Kunal Pradhan.”

Councillor Kunal Pradhan (above) has been accused of attacking fellow party man and Kalimpong Municipality chairman Ravi Pradhan late on Friday night

Differences within the Binay Tamang faction — the other is led by Bimal Gurung — have widened ever since it split from the GJM, which is spearheading the Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling. In December 2017, the Binay Tamang group won the support of majority councillors to form the Kalimpong Municipality board. However, tensions and internal rivalry have continued to plague the Binay Tamang group. Friday night’s incident is just a manifestation of this rivalry.

Speculating on the issue, a local political observer said, “There is a lot of dissatisfaction among the people in general, and that is what is showing. I don’t know the specific reasons but, as you know, a chor (thief) always fights for share. It could be one such case.”

Meanwhile, Kunal Pradhan has gone missing, and the police are on the lookout for him.

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