Gorkha Janamukti Morhca central committee member Nicol Tamang, one of the prime accused in the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) chief Madan Tamang, fled from police custody in Darjeeling district early Sunday.
'He escaped from the Pintail village guest house in the Dagapur area,' Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Ranveer Kumar told IANS.
'We are looking into how he managed to flee. The Darjeeling police superintendent and an additional police superintendent have been sent to the spot,' Kumar said.
Nicol had been shifted to the guest house near Siliguri run by the hill governing body Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) Friday for interrogation. The Indian Reserve Battalion jawans had been deployed to guard him.
Nicol, a close associate of GJM chief Bimal Gurung, was arrested from the Pool Bazar area in this West Bengal hill town for the May 21 murder of Madan Tamang. The Darjeeling chief judicial magistrate's court had remanded him to criminal Investigation Department (CID) custody for 12 days.
The CID of the West Bengal police is probing the sensational killing of Madan Tamang.
Kumar said a massive manhunt has been launched to recapture Nicol, whose arrest had followed the recovery of his mobile phone at the spot where Madan Tamang was killed.
On verifying the call details, it was revealed that Nicol was one of the masterminds of the attack. According to the police, Nicol had made several phone calls to senior GJM leaders and an instruction for the attack was also passed by him.
All police stations of north Bengal have been put on alert following Nicol's escape and police were combing surrounding areas. The security agencies were also keeping a close watch on the international borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh in the outskirts of Siliguri.
Nicol's name featured in the list of 10 GJM leaders and supporters against whom first information reports (FIR) was lodged by the ABGL leaders. His name also featured in the list of 11 people against whom look-out notices were issued after the murder of the veteran leader that sent shockwaves across the Darjeeling hills.