GANGTOK, February 12, 2013
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) claimed that its party office opening function here at Convoy Ground, Tadong on February 11 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 on Feb 11.
“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. Today, 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.
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 of 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.
“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 provocation… 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 lathicharge 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.
As per SKM supporters, some of the party supporters were injured while jumping out of the window from one floor up to escape the police charge.
The police savagely hit those were not resisting arrest and even those who had been boarded into the police truck were trampled upon by the police with their boots, said the supporters.
(Courtesy: Sikkim Express / Photo of IGP: Sikkim Messenger)