Rally of Joint Action Council which was scheduled to be held in Singtam was marred with violence and clashes between various political groups today as attacks were reported on members of JAC including its general secretary Keshav Sapkota who is now hospitalised at a local government hospital. The day started with attack on SDF convoy where former MLA Mechung Bhutia claimed that a group of men attacked his vehicle by smashing rods at Goshkhan Dara at Singtam. Rally could not be held in view of the prevailing circumstances.
“We would like to say that there has been a breakdown of law and order in Sikkim with open hooliganism by members of the ruling SKM” alleged SDF’s Rinzing Bhutia. He further said that inspite of heavy police deployment they did not act on time and failed completely to protect the people participating in the rally organised by JAC.
Sikkim police had not granted permission for the rally at Singtam saying that a blood donation campaign was underway in the east district town and had given permission for the said rally in Gangtok however JAC rejected police proposal and went ahead with their program in Singtam.
The entire Singtam bazar had heavy police deployment and police were seen investigating on site of the attack on SDF members.
Later after some tense moments SP Gangtok Tenzing Loden Lepcha announced on the spot that Section 144 has been imposed in Singtam stating that assembling of more than 4 people is illegal.
Police have informed that two cases has been registered related to today’s violence in Singtam.
SKM members who were participating in blood donation campaign have also claimed that JAC members attacked them.
Later Bhaichung Bhutia, HSP President arrived at Singtam to sit at dharna until the arrests are made against the vicious attack on Keshav Sapkota,General Secretary JAC. Bhutia has arrived here at Singtam Police station to file an FIR.
Following the incident at Singtam ahead JAC’s rally, Bhaichung Bhutia, President of the Hamro Sikkim Party, in a video release,stated that unless a FIR is made against the miscreants, he wil be on a sit-in protest.
In a video released by Hamro Sikkim Party President he said “PS Golay goons attacked JAC members as well as other organisations when we came to fight for Sikkim’s identity”, he alleged.
He further stated that he will organise a sit-in protest inside the police station till a FIR is filed against the miscreants, followed by their arrest.
JAC rally failed after the Sikkim Police imposed the CrPC 144 in the Goskhan Dara and Singtam bridge which was followed after the incidences of attack on SDF leader and former legislator Mechung Bhutia and vandalisation of his vehicle and fatal attack on Joint Action Council General Secretary Keshav Sapkota were reported.
JAC General Secretary Keshav Sapkota, who was attacked by some unknown criminals ahead of the JAC rally has been referred to CRH Manipal. He was earlier taken to District Hospital Singtam. According to JAC, Keshav has a head injury.
Bharatiya Janata Party, Sikkim has strongly condemns the deadly attack on Council General Secretary and associates during peace rally held in Singtam today. Everyone who voices for their rights in a democracy has a constitutional right, and it is unfortunate for Sikkim to have a deadly attack on organisers during a peace rally in the afternoon.
Bharatiya Janata Party, demanded police administration to restore the law enforcement that is worsening day by day in the state demanding strict arrest of criminals involved in Sikkim incident, investigating to its roots and strict action.
SDF has also condemned the violence terming it as “jungle Raj “ in Sikkim. Stating his party’s stand JB Darnal said
“Dr. Mikchung, Former MLA was attacked this morning while he was on the way to attend the peaceful rally organised by the Joint Action Council (JAC). The offenders wearing masks attacked him from the back with rods and also damaged his vehicle. Along with this Shri Keshav Sapkota, General Secretary, JAC was brutally attacked by the mob which consisted of ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party (SKM) supporters which is visible and evident from videos on social media which are widely circulated. This is total failure of law and order in the State and blatant murder of democracy. Sikkim Police must take strict action against the offenders involved in the crime”.
Nitesh R Pradhan
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