Dais, salute and farewell

Siliguri today mourned the death of Amitabha Malik, the sub-inspector of police who fell to bullets during the raid on camps allegedly housing Bimal Gurung's loyalists near Darjeeling yesterday.

By OUR bureau
  • Published 15.10.17
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The dais in Amitabha’s name in Siliguri. (Passang Yolmo)

Oct. 14: Siliguri today mourned the death of Amitabha Malik, the sub-inspector of police who fell to bullets during the raid on camps allegedly housing Bimal Gurung's loyalists near Darjeeling yesterday.

Hundreds of residents assembled to pay homage to Amitabha in several locations of the town as the anti-Gorkhaland sentiment that had subdued to some extent over the past couple of weeks simmered again in the plains.

The Siliguri Metropolitan Police also organised a memorial meeting.

"He was a young and brave officer. In his memory, we dedicate an open dais that we built recently at the commissionerate. It will be called Shahid Amitabha Malik Mancha," said Niraj Kumar Singh, the commissioner of Siliguri Metropolitan Police.

"The attack and death of the young police officer has left us perturbed. We were relieved after the strike was withdrawn. But after yesterday's incident, it is obvious that some people have picked up arms," said Tanmoy Goswami, who heads an IT firm based in Siliguri.

Later in the evening, groups of people gathered at Sevoke More and led a candle rally.

"By killing a police officer who was there in the hills to maintain law and order and prevent any attempt to divide Bengal, Gurung has again triggered tension. Such attacks would only strengthen our resolve to protest any division of the state. If required, we will hit the streets again," said Pradip Dasgupta, a representative of the Joy Bangla Forum, an apolitical forum.

Since the statehood agitation began in the hills in June, Siliguri residents have time and again organised marches to protest the Gorkhaland demand.

State honour

Amitabha's body was flown to Calcutta this morning and first taken to a ground adjoining Madhyamgram police station, not too far from his home.

His parents, brother and wife were present when the state police gave a gun salute by firing three rounds in the air as a mark of respect and honour.

Amitabha's mother lost consciousness more than once as the event proceeded in the presence of ministers Partha Chatterjee and Jyotipriya Mullick and senior police officers, including director-general of police Surajit Kar Purkayastha and additional director-general of police (law and order) Anuj Sharma.

The officer was cremated at Nimtala cremation ghat.

The chief minister said the government would extend all assistance to the family. Amitabha's father and wife will be given government jobs.