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The Opposition on Sunday blamed the state government for the death of sub-inspector (S-I) Amitabha Malik, who was killed in a gunfight between state police and alleged followers of GJM chief Bimal Gurung on Friday morning. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, while attending a rally in West Midnapore district, said: “We are not supporting anyone in the Hills. We are only concerned about our own party. However, we strongly oppose what the state government is doing in Darjeeling hills. An innocent police officer was killed because of the politics pursued by the Trinamool Congress government. Without proper training, these officers were sent to the forest for an assignment. The state government has committed a crime, and we condemn it.”
S-I Malik was killed, and two other police officers were injured, when they came under fire in the dense forests adjoining Sirubari area of Darjeeling. Delegations from the Congress and Left Front also visited the S-I’s house in Madhyamgram on Sunday to express their condolences. While the Congress delegation was not allowed to enter the house by family members and locals, the Left Front delegation was allowed to meet the bereaved family members.
Outside Malik’s house, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury questioned why the police officials were sent to the forest without bulletproof jackets. “A young man was killed on Friday, and some others were injured. Why were they sent on such an assignment without bulletproof jackets? The chief minister says north-eastern militant outfits are helping Bimal Gurung with arms and ammunition. Then why were they not equipped with bulletproof jackets and proper headgear?,” he said. CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty, who led the Left Front delegation said, “The state government must take action against the people responsible for the death of this police officer. Instead of doing politics, it must initiate a tripartite meeting to resolve the Darjeeling issue.”
Meanwhile, Amitabha’s father Soumen Malik held GJM chief Bimal Gurung responsible for his son’s death, and said he should be shot in the head. “My son was killed in the fire of the separate statehood movement. Bimal Gurung should not be allowed to divide the state. My son’s soul will rest in peace only if Bimal Gurung is shot in the head,” Soumen said.
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