Darjeeling unrest: ASI killed, several hurt in police, GJM clashes

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The GJM cadres retaliated after police opened fire, sources said.

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.

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.

A number of police vehicles were also set ablaze during the clashes. They added that the clashes are still going on.

Following the incident, a very heavy police force along with Central paramilitary forces were deployed to the scene, a police official said. "We have recovered six AK-47 assault rifles, one 9 mm pistol, 500 rounds of ammunition and bombs from the place where a police party was ambushed by his group near Darjeeling today", Sharma told reporters in Kolkata.

On Thursday night, Bimal Gurung had released an audio clip stating that he would make a public appearance before his supporters in Darjeeling on October 30.

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.

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 is a virtual split in the GJM with Binay Tamang leading a faction that is backed by the state government.

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