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

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

Congress and CPI (M) leaders today visited the house of slain police sub-inspector Amitabha Malik, who was killed in a firing allegedly by the supporters of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling. While the Gurung-led faction, pointed fingers at the police, the leader of the other GJM faction, Binay Tamang, said it is likely that the houses, with nobody inside at the time of the fire, were set ablaze by Gurung's supporters to destroy evidence of wrongdoing. The police, however, did not comment on this.

By now, it is clear that Gurung has lost popular support in Darjeeling, said Anuj Sharma, additional director general of police (law and order).

The GJM cadres resisted the police advance resulting in violent clashes. The police recovered 6 AK 47 and some nine mm pistol and around 500 rounds of cartridges from the spot.

The security forces were moving towards Patlebas after receiving specific inputs that GJM president Gurung was camping in the area. Weapons used to attack the police were procured from them.

"We will not allow this to happen at any cost, even if we have to make sacrifices", he said.

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Last night, the police had conducted a raid in the Nimbu Basti area of Darjeeling to catch Bimal Gurung. "We also told him about the recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition", Tamang told reporters after coming out of the Raj Bhavan here.

Those who fired at the police should be given strict punishment, he said. "The state government is responsible for the SI's death".

Gurung has been in hiding since August after cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were registered against him for his alleged involvement in several bomb blasts in Darjeeling and adjoining areas.

The shutdown was lifted on September 27, hours after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the GJM to call off the over three-month-long strike and invited them for talks to find an amicable solution to the issue.

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