Sikkim pre-poll violence claims its first victim, NK Gurung SDF vice-convener

NK Gurung, Sikkim Democratic Front vice-convener of Sribadam, became the first victim of pre-poll violence in Sikkim when he was allegedly fatally assaulted on Tuesday evening while returning from the 22nd foundation day celebrations of the ruling party.

NK Gurung SDF vice-convener
NK Gurung SDF vice-convener  first victim of
Sikkim pre-poll violence

Gurung (37) was reportedly assaulted around 8-9pm near Singling-Soreng and he died on the way to Siliguri where he was being rushed for treatment.

The SDF has accused the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha of being responsible for Gurung’s death and demanded the arrest of SKM chief PS Golay.

The SDF called a press conference this afternoon where party spokesperson Bhim Dahal claimed “Gurung was attacked by Zigmee Bhutia and Phurba Bhutia of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha with a wooden object while returning from the 22nd foundation day celebrations of our party. It’s Golay who is instigating his goons to indulge in such violent acts and he should take the responsibility”.

Dahal accused the SKM to be a party of goons and rowdies and called for the immediate arrest of Golay and fitting punishment to him.

The SDF spokesperson also cited another incident that occurred on Tuesday at Chyakung, where 23-year-old Arjun Rai was attacked and severely wounded allegedly by SKM supporters. Rai is presently at the ICU of the Central Referral Hospital and Golay will be held solely responsible if anything untoward happens to him, added Dahal.

SDF leader and MP PD Rai also slammed the SKM chief for the ongoing violence in the state. He said Sikkim is unfamiliar with a culture of violence and it has been imported by Golay form outside the state. “Violence in Sikkim will stop immediately if Golay is arrested,” he said.

On its part, the SKM presented a different version of the Gurung incident and described it as unfortunate while vehemently denying any involvement.

“It is merely a conspiracy of the SDF to malign our party and it is using the deceased as a medium. The entire narration of the incident appears confusing and suspicious,” said SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling.

He said Zigmee and Phurba Bhuti are siblings and they were at home in Sribadam when NK Gurung and a few other SDF supporters barged inside and attacked them. Gurung got injured when a blow aimed at one of the Bhutia brothers missed its target and hit him instead, according to Khaling.

“The two groups belong to the same village and they even went to Kaluk police station and filed an FIR. However, no one was arrested as the two sides decided to compromise. Had Gurung been in a critical condition, there would have been no compromise,” claimed the SKM spokesperson.

He added the incident at Sribadam is an example of the SDF’s insanity and the SKM demands the arrest of 18 SDF supporters who barged into the Bhutia household and attacked its members.

Just a day after the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front celebrated its 22nd foundation day in Jorethang, party members in town wore a sombre look following the death of one of its leaders, NK Gurung. They took out a peace rally starting from the Jorethang Playground, which culminated at the new party office, ‘Garib Utthan Bhawan’, in the heart of town.

The SDF claims Gurung was killed by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha supporters when he was returning home from the foundation day celebration. Party workers demanded the immediate arrest of SKM chief PS Golay accusing him of being responsible for Gurung’s death.

Gurung was the SDF’s constituency level committee vice president for Rinchenpong, West Sikkim. After his mortal remains reached the party office, party supporters observed a two-minute silence and offered their last respects. KN Rai, political advisor to the chief minister, conferred martyr status to Gurung and said SDF flags across all party offices in the state will be hoisted at half-mast.

Meanwhile, the SDF peace rally in Namchi took an ugly turn when angry SDF supporters vandalised houses and shops of SKM members. The town’s business community sensing pulled down their shutters and the entire town was desolate within minutes.

The town administration had to deploy additional police forces along with IRB personnel to control the mob and bring the situation under control. But in the evening, things worsened again when SKM and SDF supporters clashed near the former’s party office. The police had to resort to a mild lathicharge and arrested five SKM supporters, but there were no reports of SDF arrests.

Source : (EOIC)

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