Superintendent of Police Sanjay Chander said Pradhan, an executive councillor of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and a known hardliner, was shot in the back on Mintri road. He was taken to hospital but was declared brought dead.
Chander said tension mounted in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling as the news of the murder of Pradhan, a one time confidant of GNLF chief Subash Ghising, spread.
On February 10, 2001, an attempt was made on Ghising's life and the alleged mastermind behind the attack, Gorkha Liberation Organisation chief Chhatre Subba, was arrested. After this Pradhan fell out with Ghising.
Chander said additional security forces were deployed and police patrolling was intensified throughout the hills to maintain law and order.
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