Gunfight in India's Darjeeling kills police officer

Will scenes like this return in the north Bengal hills again that’s the question after Friday’s clashes between the police and GJM supporters

It left a police officer and a civilian killed and several others injured.

At 5 am today, a search party of the police raided a hideout inside the Tukvar forest, looking for Bimal Gurung, and were allegedly fired upon.

A cop succumbed to his injuries in fresh clashes that broke out in Darjeeling between the police and the Bimal Gurung-led faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) early this morning. Two policemen were also injured. The ADG also said that Bimal Gurung is believed to purchase weapons from these rebel groups.

Meanwhile the dead body of ASI Malik reached Siliguri this evening and will be kept in morgue at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital tonight and will be taken to his residence at Madhyagram in North 24 Pargana on Saturday's first flight from Bagdogra airport.

Friday's incident queers the pitch for the proposed tripartite talks at the Union home ministry over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. We have recovered six AK-47 assault rifles, one 9 mm pistol, 500 rounds of ammunition and bombs from the place where a police party was ambushed by his group near Darjeeling today, ” Sharma told reporters here.

Gurung, charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, is wanted by the Bengal government for multiple clashes, subsequent deaths, and a 104-day shut down that has crippled the Darjeeling region since June this year. The agitation has been going on for over 100 days and has till now resulted in 13 people losing their lives.

The detained person has admitted that Gurung was holed up at the camp near the Sikkim-West Bengal border for over a month, Chaturvedi added. The GJM chief has vowed that the shutdown in the hills would continue indefinitely. "If I need to die, I will do so before the people", he had said.

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