Darjeeling: Several policemen injured in fresh clashes with GJM supporters

Darjeeling: Several policemen injured in fresh clashes with GJM supporters

Mullick died on the spot.

The GJM claimed one of its activists was also killed in the exchange of fire.

"We don't want the Darjeeling hills to become another Kashmir", he told reporters in Kolkata.

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.

The latest protests severely affected production of Darjeeling tea, regarded as some of the world's finest, as workers failed to turn out for the harvest. There should be a proper inquiry into the violence and the culprits should be booked.

State tourism minister Gautam Deb said the state government was determined to establish peace in the Darjeeling hills.

Today a huge contingent of police was sent to Sirubari area in the Bengal-Sikkim border to look for Gurung as the police had information that he along with some of his followers were hiding in that area.

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The police conducted the raid after getting information that Gurung was hiding in the area, during which the GJM leader's supporters fired and pelted stones, police said.

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 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.

A large cache of arms-at least nine self-loading rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and 20 gelatine sticks-was recovered from the camp, following which the police said the haul conclusively established Gurung's links with Moaists and insurgent groups from the northeast.

Police ASI Amitavo Mallick lost his life in clashes between the police and GJM supporters in Darjeeling's Takvar, reported ANI.

"Gurung has procured arms from them", he said.

Sharma said, during the clashes, Gurung and his close associates fled to the neighbouring state of Sikkim. "He has prepared a blueprint to foment trouble for his personal gain", he said. “We will not allow this to happen at any cost, even if we have to make sacrifices, ” he said.

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