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.
Kolkata: A sub-inspector of police was gunned down and two security personnel were injured when the supporters of Gorkha Janamukti Morch (GJM) president Bimal Gurung allegedly fired at them near Singla Bastee near the West Bengal and Sikkim border on Friday morning. "A police vehicle has been set on fire", Sharma told reporters at the State Secretariat.
The rebel GJM leader did not dispel West Bengal police's suspicion that Gurung has close links with the Maoists and insurgent groups in the Northeast. The GJM cadres resisted the police advance resulting in violent clashes.
Meanwhile the dead body of ASI Malik reached Siliguri this evening and will be kept in morgue at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital tonight and will be taken to his residence at Madhyagram in North 24 Pargana on Saturday's first flight from Bagdogra airport.
Gurung has been on the run for quite some time, with the state police slapping cases under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, as also for waging war against the government and organising terrorist camps. "After searching the area, police recovered AK-47 rifles, one 9 mm pistol, rounds of ammunition and bomb-making material".
This is the first such incident of violence after the 104-day long indefinite shutdown in the hills was called off on September 26 by Mr Gurung following an appeal by Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
Directly implicating Gurung for the death of the cop, Sharma said: "It all happened under Bimal Gurung's leadership" but also conceded that the heavy and sudden firepower caused casualties among the police contingent.