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.
"The GJM workers, who were armed, started firing".
The police claimed that the houses were set ablaze by Gurung's supporters to wipe out evidence. "We feel ashamed of it", he said.
Inspector General of law and order, West Bengal police Anuj Sharma said that Gurung and his associates fled during the police operation.
According to him, intelligence reports suggest that Gurung has been in touch with Maoists and other North East-based insurgent groups.
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 police recovered 6 AK 47 and some nine mm pistol and around 500 rounds of cartridges from the spot. Thulung is wanted by Darjeeling Police and Assam Police in an arms case.
The security forces were moving towards Patlebas after receiving specific inputs that GJM president Gurung was camping in the area.
"Whatever has happened in the hills is regrettable".
State Tourism Minister Gautam Deb alleged that some miscreants were trying to spark trouble in the hills.
Life had come 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 Gorkhaland.
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.
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