Tuesday, 16 August 2011

SHRP torches Chamling’s effigy

Street protest against Public Control Bill

Pappu Mallick

GANGTOK, August 14:
The Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP) party supporters today torched the effigy of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in Gangtok to register their protest against the controversial ‘Sikkim Prevention and Control of Disturbance of Public Order Bill’ tabled in the Assembly on August 11 which has triggered a political furore here in Sikkim.
    A group of SHRP workers waving black flags gathered here at Sisha Golai near Lall Bazaar supermarket along the NH 31A and torched the effigy with the name of ‘Pawan Chamling’ written on it at around 1.45 pm.
    Minutes earlier, Chamling’s motorcade had breezed past this stretch proceeding towards his official residence, Mitokgang.
    Shouting slogans against Chamling and the controversial bill, the SHRP supporters marched into the highway torching the effigy. Traffic along this bustling highway was stunned for almost 10-15 minutes as the SHRP supporters continued their slogans against the bill.
    A team of police from Gangtok Sadar police station soon arrived at the spot and arrested eight SHRP workers and seized the party’s flag, poster and black flags.
    The arrested SHRP workers were Om Prakash Bista (40), Lalman Subba (53), Gobind Sharma (40), MB Rai (51), Glaypo Tamang (36), Gopal Chettri (36), Dhan Bahadur Thapa (22) and Binod Sharma (40). They have been booked under section 169 of Sikkim Police Act 2008 for creating nuisance at public places.
    This is the second recorded incident of Chamling’s effigy being torched in Sikkim though SHRP has claimed of doing a similar act on August 12 in a remote location in West district. On August 8, 2007, the party had torched the Chief Minister’s effigy at Gangtok in the alleged suppression of opposition political parties by his government.
    The controversial ‘Sikkim Prevention and Control of Disturbance of Public Order Bill’ to be debated and voted in the Assembly on August 26 has attracted a strong reaction from all the opposition political parties.
    Leaders of different opposition political parties have jointly expressed their unanimous condemnation of the bill which proposes to a special law to address social vices and offences being committed disturbing public order which effect peace and tranquility in Sikkim.
    The State units of Congress, BJP and CPIM along with regional parties namely SHRP, Sikkim National Peoples’ Party (SNPP) and Sikkim Liberation Party (SLP) have jointly decided to protest against the bill. Rejecting the provisions of the bill as outright violation of fundamental rights of citizens, the opposition political parties have announced to start a protest campaign which will start with the boycott of the Independence Day high tea invitation from the Raj Bhavan on August 15.

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