Tuesday, 12 February 2013

SKM supporters lathi-charged, seven arrested for attacking CM’s convoy

SKM claims conspiracy, demands suspension of IGP

Staff Reporter

GANGTOK, February 12: The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) yesterday 11/2/13 claimed that its party office opening function here at Convoy Ground, Tadong was ‘sabotaged’ by the ruling front with the alleged misuse of police forces. The party has also demanded an ‘immediate suspension’ of IGP (Law & Order) Akshay Sachdeva and a judicial probe against him for allegedly using ‘excessive force’ against the party supporters today.
            “In a democracy, people can express their discontentment against the government. Shoes were thrown upon the US president and the Indian Home Minister in the past. Yesterday, people displayed their dissatisfaction against the Chief Minister while he was going down (to 6th Mile) and also when he was coming up”, said SKM vice president Bhoj Raj Rai to reporters.
            Rai along with SKM working president Bharati Rai told media that the SKM does not justify criminal acts and agreed that police should arrest the culprits involved in the ‘water bottle’ pelting on the Chief Minister’s convoy. However, the SKM leaders did not believed that its own party workers were involved in the incident.
            “It could have been anybody and not necessarily our own party workers. Even though we were cooperating with the police and ready to give surrender those from our party identified by the police of engaged in such act. Things were amicably being settled through talks with the police but the IGP suddenly barged into our office and order the police to lathi-charge upon all us. Our party workers were beaten up like dogs”, said Rai.
            The SKM leaders accused police of barging into the party office and assaulting whoever was present in the office under the leadership of Sachdeva. The IGP was also accused of using derogatory comments against the party supporters and abusive language against the women members.

 “No explanation can justify that lathi-charge which was against all established norms. There is no democracy in Sikkim and Sachdeva is a tool used by the SDF government to suppress us. We demand that he is immediately suspended and a judicial probe ordered against him. We will go to Human Rights Commission and Union government against him”, said Rai.
            SKM working president Bharati Rai said: “The whole incident is a conspiracy to sabotage our party. There is no democracy in Sikkim and I condemn the police act on our women supporters. This shows how women are treated in Sikkim”.
            SKM general secretary (legal) Sonam Lachungpa, a former police officer, claimed that the lathi-charge was illegal and against the norms. “The lathi-charge was ordered by the IGP without any such order from the district magistrate. I was there and as a former police officer, I can say that there was no need for such police action. Police should have given a warning first”, he said.
            SKM general secretary (organization) Kala Rai accused Sachdeva of personally ‘assaulting’ her. We have lost our faith on the police, she said adding that she would go to women commission against the alleged police brutality upon SKM women supporters.

SKM supporters 
lathi-charged, seven arrested for attacking CM’s convoy

GANGTOK, Feb 11: Ruckus erupted today in Sikkim capital Gangtok as supporters of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party backed by rebel legislator Prem Singh Golay today were baton charged for allegedly shouting provocative slogans and attacking vehicles in Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s cavalcade.
     The incident happened around 4 pm Monday when Chamling was returning from a religious function when SKM supporters celebrating opening of their party headquarter at Convoy Ground Tadong threw water bottles and metal objects on vehicles following Chamling’s car, Sikkim Police DIG Dr. M.S.Tuli said. The CM falls under ‘Z’ category security, he said.
     Police personnel’s deployed on the spot to control the crowd had to resort to lathu charge as the mob shouted anti-Chamling slogans and demonstrated before their newly opened party office. 
     Sikkim Police IG Akshay Sachdeva and East District Collector A.K.Singh had reached at the spot to  maintain law and order.
     According to the police, three SKM members have been arrested till now and police are on the look for few other members of the newly floated outfit on similar charges. They said, around six police personals were injured during the ruckus.

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