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

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

Police said the shootout followed a pre-dawn raid on a forest hideout used by members of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), a regional party agitating for a separate state for the Gorkha ethnic minority.

One police officer was killed and another four were injured when they were fired at by members of a Gorkha organization demanding a new state be carved in the region of West Bengal state where they live, police said Friday. He said that the police officials were attacked by Gurung's supporters when they went to raid the area in search of the GJM Chief.

Expelled GJM leader and chairman of the Board of Administrators for Darjeeling hills, Binay Tamang, said Gurung was responsible for todays events.

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The CNN News18 report noted that firing between the police and GJM supporters is still going on, which might have helped Gurung escape.

An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) ranked officer, who has been identified as Amitabh Malik, was killed in the clash while at least four other policemen were injured and were rushed to local hospital.

Police were looking for the attackers, Sharma said.

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In August, Gurung was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts in the Darjeeling hills.

Just a day earlier, Gurung had told media he will appear before people on October 30.

Banerjee's meeting was followed by a protest by the GJM supporters who had ransacked several government properties, leading to a complete shutdown in the hills.

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On 27 Sep, hours after the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to them to call off the strike and invited them for talks to find an amicable solution regarding the demand of Gorkhaland, the GJM Chief had announced the withdrawal of its indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling, 105 days after the shutdown began.

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