Police Continue To Look For Bimal Gurung

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At 5 am, the search party raided the hideout inside the forest, he said, alleging that the police was then fired at by GJM supporters.

In a development that pushes Darjeeling into a fresh spell of uncertainty, a sub-inspector was killed and four policemen were injured in a gunbattle on a riverbed close to the West Bengal-Sikkim border during a pre-dawn operation on Friday. The GJM cadres retaliated after police opened fire, sources said. Six AK-47 rifles, a nine-mm pistol, almost 500 rounds of cartridges, explosives and bombs were recovered from the spot later.

The police conducted an early morning raid at Takvar area near Patlibash, after receiving an intelligence input that absconding GJM chief Bimal Gurung might be hiding there, the report added.

Inspector General of law and order, West Bengal police Anuj Sharma said that Gurung and his associates fled during the police operation.

"Gurung has procured arms from them", he said. Sharma said a cornered Gurung was trying to foment trouble in the hills again. "But we would make sacrifice and we would not let their blue-print succeed".

While the bandh was lifted on September 27, the situation in Darjeeling hills remains tense with the police attempting to arrest the GJM president, who is facing several charges of inciting violence.

The GJM, that has been spearheading the revived movement of Gorkhaland in the hills, is now a divided house, with a section of activists remaining with GJM chief Gurung while another faction has shifted allegiance towards expelled party leader Binay Tamang.

Gurung has been hiding since August after cases under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were registered against him for his alleged involvement in various bomb blasts in Darjeeling and adjoining areas.

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