Kolkata, Oct 14 (IANS) A gun salute was paid to Police Sub-Inspector Amitava Malik, who was shot dead during a gunfight between security forces and the Bimal Gurung faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in West Bengal’s Darjeeling, at his last rites held in his home district of North 24 Parganas on Saturday.
The body of the slain police officer was flown in here for performing the last rites on Saturday morning amid the presence of senior police officials and state ministers.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, Food & Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick and Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkaystha were present at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here, and accompanied the body to Malik’s residence in North 24 Pargana’s Madhyamgram.
The local councillors, school teachers and class mates of Malik and thousands of local residents gathered at the venue to pay their last respects.
The mood was somber too in the Kalimpong police station where Malik was posted for the last six months.
“We stay prepared for such situations but losses like this are always very sad. All the police personnel here are crying,” said an inconsolable colleague of Malik.
Meanwhile, combing operations to find GJM chief Bimal Gurung continued for the second consecutive day in the forests of Darjeeling, police said.
Malik was killed on Friday while four other police personnel were injured in forested area during a raid to catch the GJM chief Gurung close to his residence in Darjeeling’s Patlebas.
The Darjeeling police conducted a raid in the area following specific inputs that Gurung was camping on the river bed below Lepcha Bustee along with boys of GJM’s militant wing Gorkhaland Personnel, Darjeeling’s Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Chaturvedi said.
Police recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the camp and arrested one person but the GJM chief and his associates managed to flee to the neighbouring state of Sikkim, police claimed.
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