SI killed, three cops injured in clash with GJM in Darjeeling

Amitava Malik Amitava MalikThe Opposition on Sunday blamed the state government for the death of sub-inspector (S-I) Amitabha Malik, who was killed in a gunfight between state police and alleged followers of GJM chief Bimal Gurung on Friday morning.

Additional Director General of Police Siddhinath Gupta said the state police had asked its Sikkim counterpart to intimate them about anyone entering the Northeastern state from Bengal with injuries.

A sub-inspector was shot dead and four policemen were injured in clashes between the supporters of Bimal and the police.

Few days back Gurung had told his supporters that he will appear before them on October 30. "We feel ashamed of it", he said.

They were searching for the head of the party Bimal Gurung, who has been on the run since government prosecutors brought terrorism charges against him over a 104-day protest that crippled the region and left almost a dozen people dead.

Six assault rifles, 500 rounds of ammunition, pistol, gelatine sticks were recovered.

Restrictions have been imposed on entry to the village, a Gurung stronghold, and police are conducting raids in the area.

One person has been arrested, said Chaturvedi, but refused to give out his identity. They are are claiming that the GJM supremo had links with the Maoists and insurgent groups in the north-east. "Bimal Gurung has to take responsibility", said Tamang, now in Kolkata, where he called on Banerjee. The state government should go for tripartite talks to solve the Darjeeling issue.

Life came to a standstill for 104 days in Darjeeling and its neighbouring hills district Kalimpong after the GJM called an indefinite shutdown on June 12 to press for its demand for Gorkhaland. The GJM has been at the forefront of the Gorkhaland movement, demanding that a separate State be carved out from the Darjeeling hills.

  • Joey Payne