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Sikkim: Section 144 imposed in Namchi after peaceful rally turned violent, police lathicharged, fired tear gas

Pankaj Prasad
Section 144 imposed in Namchi
Section 144 imposed in Namchi

Namchi Sub-Divisional Magistrate informed that Section 144 has been imposed in the district town and police patrolling has been intensified in Namchi, the situation is now under control.

A massive rally demanding justice for student leader Padam Gurung in Sikkim's Namchi town on Monday turned violent as police lathi-charged and fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. People taking out a rally demanding speedy justice in the mysterious death of the 21-year-old youth leader turned violent and started pelting stones and bricks, injuring some policemen.

Namchi Sub-Divisional Magistrate said, "Police have informed that tear gas shells were fired by the force to control the situation and several people have been arrested in connection with the incident."

Section 144 has been imposed in the district town and police patrolling has been intensified in Namchi, where the situation is now under control, he said. The rally was organized by the All Sikkim Gurung Tamu Buddhist Association, several organizations and various sections of the society in Namchi town during the day.

Youth leader Padam Gurung was the president of the Student Representative Council of Namchi Government College. His body was found in a drain in Kajitar area of Namchi on June 28 under suspicious circumstances. Prem Gurung, brother of the slain student leader, said that justice delayed does not get justice. That's why we are demanding immediate action. He claimed that the police have enough evidence to declare the case a murder and nab the culprits, but wondered why the police were shying away from disclosing the facts.

The Sikkim government has constituted an SIT to investigate the death. Padam Gurung's friends and family allege that he was murdered. In addition, a judicial inquiry under a High Court judge was initiated following an order by Chief Minister PS Tamang in July. The report of the judicial inquiry is expected to be submitted on August 12.