Bengal Govt hatching ''conspiracy'' to eliminate Bimal Gurung: GJM tells

Cop dies as police GJM supporters clash in Darjeeling

The West Bengal government has promised a job to the father of the sub-inspector who was killed by alleged supporters of the GJM chief Bimal Gurung today in a forest near Darjeeling, where Gurung was supected to be hiding.

When the police reached the camp deep inside a jungle, Gurung's armed guards opened fire killing Amitabha Malik, a young police officer.

Police found huge amounts of arms and ammunitions including nine AK 47 rifles, a Berretta pistol, over 1,800 rounds of ammunition, 20 gelatine sticks and more than 1,000 detonators in Darjeeling.

Additional director general (law and order) Anuj Sharma told reporters in Kolkata that the police had specific information that Gurung and the group loyal to him were hiding near Patlebas, a stronghold of the GJM chief.

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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. "We have intelligence that Bimal Gurung has links with the Maoists and insurgents from the Northeast", he added. Sharma said a cornered Gurung was trying to foment trouble in the hills again.

"We will not allow this to happen at any cost, even if we have to make sacrifices", he said.

Bimal Gurung has been booked by the state police for his alleged involvement in some subversive activities in the Darjeeling hills. In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday, the GJMalleged that the Trinamool Congress Government in West Bengal was out to eliminate Bimal Gurung to end the statehood agitation and sought immediate Central intervention to convene a tripartite talk with invitation to Mr Gurung.

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. GJM is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).