Gunfight in India's Darjeeling kills police officer

Clashes in Darjeeling between police and GJM workers. PTI

The GJM cadres resisted the police advance resulting in violent clashes.

Restrictions have been imposed on entry to the village, a Gurung stronghold, and the police are conducting raids in the area.

A West Bengal Police sub-inspector was shot dead and four policemen were injured in a gun battle between the police and Gurung's supporters near Patlebas on Friday.

They added that Gurung may even use a "human shield" to make it hard for the police to open fire.

Fugitive GJM president Bimal Gurung is not ready to give up and may try to enter the Hills yet again before the October 30, intelligence sources said on Saturday.

The Additional Director General (law & order) of the state police, Anuj Sharma, has stated that police has information about the supremo of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Bimal Gurung, being linked with the Maoists and other North Eastern insurgent groups.

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Six AK-47 rifles, one 9mm pistol, 500 rounds of ammunition and bombs had been recovered from the spot, he added.

Sharma said, during the clashes, Gurung and his close associates fled to the neighbouring state of Sikkim.

"We told him that the centre must intervene as soon as possible, and call us for talks on all the pending issues, including Gorkhaland", he said.

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

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.

Significantly, the violence returned to the hills three days before a meeting called by the state government to find a solution to the Darjeeling issue. GJM is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

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