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Centres interlocutor holds talks with Gurung

Jalpaiguri: Amid simmering tension in violence-hit Darjeeling hills, Centre`s interlocutor for Darjeeling Vijay Madan on Saturday held talks with GJM president Bimal Gurung in an attempt to normalise the situation.

The talks at Kumani, 85 km off here, were held at a time when the situation in the hills was limping back to normalcy even as Rina Khawas (22), a Morcha activist, succumbed to bullet injuries, sustained in police firing at Sipchu under Nagerkata police station on February eight.

With this, the death toll in the firing incident rose to three. Three injured are still in hospital in Kalimpong.

Police said the situation in the hills was calm but simmering tension continued to prevail.

Madan earlier held discussions with district magistrates and superintendents of police of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri to get a brief of the latest law and order situation in both the Dooars region and the hills.

Sources said that Madan might also talk to other members of the Morcha leadership, spearheading the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland, before returning to Delhi.

Meanwhile, life remained totally paralysed in the Darjeeling hills on the fourth day of GJM`s indefinite strike in protest against police firing and demanding a CBI probe into the incident.

GJM sources said in Darjeeling that they would not budge from their demand for a separate Gorkhaland and not allow any discussion on an interim set-up for Darjeeling hills.

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